Setting the standard for nature-first development with a net zero retirement community
When their initial proposals for Albourne Retirement Village met with refusal of their planning applications, Inspired Villages reached out to our team to help. We drew together our planning, landscape, and development economics professionals to fulfil our client’s aspiration for a new type of nature-focused later living community.
Such developments often have a core focus on wellbeing, and we wanted to explore that in more detail—how biodiversity, landscape, and planting could create a truly uplifting place that enhanced its local context. We based our plan around an innovative planting scheme with a “right plant, right place” approach. We selected species that would advantage of seasonal ecological benefits all year round. Different areas of the site have their own distinctive aesthetics, while our strategic landscape design integrated the buildings carefully into their visual context.
We supported the planning application with a landscape and visual impact assessment and expert witness evidence at public inquiry, helping gain approval for Inspired Villages’ proposals.
The resulting rich, biodiverse settlement has over 60 types of trees and 67 perennial varieties, and we remain involved in advising on the future evolution of the landscaping. For residents, Albourne goes beyond just supporting secure, independent living, shops, and amenities, it fosters a sense of community and connection to the natural world.
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