New Build-to-Rent Development for the Over 65s Opened by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire

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Rt Hon James Brokenshire, Member of Parliament for Old Bexley and Sidcup and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, officially opened a new build-to-rent retirement scheme in Sidcup, London – Birchgrove’s Queensgate Apartments on Friday 10th May. The new community consisting of 74 apartments for the over 65s to rent, is a relatively new concept in the UK for this age group but the market for such homes is predicted to double over the next 15 years.

Speaking at the event James Brokenshire highlighted the increasing need for age-appropriate housing for the over 60s and praised Birchgrove’s efforts in building a ‘community with a heart’, not just housing. He noted that despite living in a technologically connected world, the elderly often found themselves isolated and lonely.

Birchgrove’s rental scheme answers a growing demand in the retirement housing sector. Originating from the US, Europe and Australia, the trend of retirees choosing to rent over buying in the UK has increased by 13% from 2012 to 2016 (NLA), and Scottish Widows have recently predicted that figures will double to 9 million by 2022.

Honor Barratt, Managing Director of Birchgrove commented: “The concept of renting an apartment in later life is still relatively new in the UK and I would like to thank our new residents for having the confidence in us and being early- adopters of this new kind of living. Every aspect of living and the requirements of our residents have been carefully thought about and tested – from the provision of a greenhouse in the garden for gardening enthusiasts to the width of the doors for wheelchair access.”

Birchgrove’s Queensgate apartments include one, two and three-bedrooms specifically designed for the over 65s. They are fully wheelchair accessible, with waist high appliances for easy access. Modern bathrooms also come with en-suite walk-in showers with simple to use switches, taps and plugs.

Residents have access to onsite facilities such as a restaurant, club room, library, wellbeing and fitness centre, hairdressing and beauty salon, and communal gardens with plots to grow vegetables. Each apartment is also linked to a 24-hour emergency call service for immediate assistance.

Regular events and hobby groups contribute to the community spirit, whilst the onsite shuttle service to the local high street and shops adds to the service offer. All residents are entitled to one hour’s domestic support per week, meaning a member of staff will help with chores such as cleaning, cooking, shopping or doing the ironing.

Rent includes concierge service, 24-hour onsite emergency assistance, access to the onsite facilities, transportation, phone line installation, and utility costs (gas, electricity, water).

Queensgate Apartments in Sidcup developed by Birchgrove and will be the first of a further eight rental retirement schemes planned by them in and around the M25 over the next five years.

For more information, please visit www.birchgrove.life or contact the team on 020 3929 5599.

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Editor Notes

Backed by Bridges Fund Management, which has a 15-year track record of investing in property related businesses, and working with construction partner Castleoak, Birchgrove is a new kind of assisted living solution in the UK. Birchgrove will offer high-end apartments for rent where older people can live independently, but also be part of a community and have access to an array of facilities and services – while getting additional support (medical or otherwise) as and when they need it.