Elderswell Village in Turvey, Bedfordshire is a truly exceptional development, designed to meet the needs and aspirations of its residents while also being sustainable and energy efficient. The project’s location in Turvey, with its blend of open countryside and picturesque stone houses, provides a peaceful rural setting that pays homage to the village’s history.
Elderswell is a stunning example of a state-of-the-art supported living village designed to provide a comfortable and supportive environment for over 65s. Built by Countryside Partnerships for Inspired Villages, the £35.7 million project provides 128 age-appropriate homes comprising of 42 one-bedroom apartments, 84 two-bedroom apartments and 2 three-bedroom apartments.
Three Winning Facts:
- Focusing on quality of life through design and build: The development’s key design principles are focused on maximising residents’ quality of life. Each apartment is positioned around a central courtyard or sun terrace, providing residents with the flexibility to be as sociable or private as they wish. The ‘village centre’ acts as the vibrant heart of the community, ensuring that everything is just a few steps away. This innovative design maximises communal spaces and creates an inclusive environment that promotes social interaction.
- Engaging with the local community and economic inclusion: The project team went above and beyond to engage with the local community and address their concerns from day one. Neighbour Open Days, newsletters, and a Facebook page were used to keep the community informed about the project’s progress. The team also made several goodwill gestures, assisted elderly neighbours with small handywork jobs, and maintained daily contact with the local farmer and farmhouse tenant. Economic inclusion was also a priority, with approximately 140 subcontractors employed on site at any one time, and 20 of these employed from within a 15-mile radius of the remote location. The project team employed local people to cover site administration, gate duties, and labouring, and several apprentices were also employed through the supply chain. The development created around 50 jobs per annum during the three-year construction program and a further 25 operational jobs upon completion.
- Environmental stewardship: Both in terms of design and build, environmental stewardship has been at the heart of this scheme. MMC has been used to reduce CO2 and waste during the build. The project incorporated environmentally friendly features such as a ground source heat pump, PV panels, EV charging points, LED lighting, and FSC timber. And the project has been committed to protecting existing wildlife and keeping as much of the natural features as possible as well as planting new trees, creating enhanced greenspace for residents. Ecological enhancements have also been implemented, including artificial bat roosting, bird nesting, and hibernacula for reptiles and hedgehogs and creating habitats for insects, reptiles, and invertebrates to enhance the welcome for wildlife.