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27 September 2019 | Care

Surrey site acquired by Christie & Co for “housing with care” development obtains planning permission

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co has acquired a development site in the village of Ewell, Surrey for Birchgrove, an innovative “housing with care” Class C2 operator.

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The site, known as Lower Mill, is situated adjacent to a stretch of the Hogsmill River and is only a short walk to an array of amenities in Ewell. Birchgrove alongside Levanter Developments recently obtained planning permission for 53 extra-care apartments with associated facilities that will provide much needed accommodation for elderly residents in the local area.
 
Christie & Co acted for Levanter Developments, a specialist property development and investment company based in Cobham, Surrey. Oliver Tomalin at Levanter Developments comments, “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Birchgrove to secure this planning consent which brings this historic site back into an excellent, complementary use. Through our extensive work with the community and detailed approach to design, we are incredibly pleased with the outcome."
 
Levanter have focussed in the retirement sector over the past two years with 151 units either consented or in the planning process across three separate schemes in Surrey. With a specialism in planning procurement, Levanter are keen to secure more sites by the end of 2019 on either an unconditional or subject to planning basis or indeed in partnership with an operator seeking to remediate their planning risk.
 
Birchgrove operates an innovative rental model allowing residents to have flexibility in older age, which separates their business model from many alternative “housing with care”  models.
 
Honor Barratt, Managing Director of Birchgrove comments, “For Birchgrove’s third site, we were looking for something with a little bit of magic – it needed to be in one of the best places to live in the UK. Christie & Co was tenacious in finding the site and we all worked together as a team, vendor, agent, and buyer to get it over the line in record time. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
 
Jordan Rundle, Associate Director at Christie & Co who handled the acquisition comments, “As a specialist broker in the care sector, we recognised that the combination of the encouraging demographics and exceptional location could present a perfect fit for Birchgrove, who specialise in developing high quality assisted living apartments for rent in London and the South East.
 
“Although traditional retirement housing developments will continue to exist, we expect to see an increasing trend of dynamic housing with care models coming to the market in the UK, which will be built and operated with a greater understanding of the need for care provision and lifestyle amenities within older persons accommodation.”