A new scheme to convert unused NHS buildings into housing and care for older people is being planned in Surrey
The later living project will include 300 homes designed with the help of leading academics to enable older people to live independently using the latest technology.
The homes will be set alongside publicly accessible facilities – such as a wellness and fitness centre, restaurants, bars and GP consultation rooms – facing onto a tree-lined public square.
The architecture of the later living scheme will blend with the traditional aesthetic of the Surrey town, providing new leafy public areas that will enhance access between Epsom General Hospital and surrounding green spaces.
Guild Living’s plans also include a children’s nursery and rooms for relatives to stay.
As well as freeing up family housing in the surrounding area, Guild Living’s plans will support Epsom Hospital, creating cafes, restaurants and community spaces set in a tree-lined mini-market square that offers visitors somewhere to take friends and family.
To further support the local services transitional care suites will be included within Guild Living’s scheme – ensuring patients recovering from hospital care can transition back to living independently without the isolation of staying on a hospital ward.
Later living planning application
In its proposals to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Guild Living’s plan includes 300 homes around a variety of public and private spaces, together with 24-hour support that steps up as and when it is needed.
Guild Living’s focus is on ensuring older people can live in the centre of towns, which is a potential boon for local businesses which stand to benefit from significant footfall driven by staff, residents and visitors.
Eugene Marchese, co-founder and director at Guild Living, commented: “There’s a significant issue around loneliness and isolation for older people that needs to be tackled. That’s why we are focused on town-centre sites, allowing us to create real intergenerational communities that offer residents somewhere safe and secure to live.
“We are committed to working closely with Epsom General Hospital to help improve the entire area for hospital staff, visitors and residents. This is a truly unique opportunity to deliver vital housing for older people, helping people live independently and safe in the knowledge that care is there if it’s needed.
“Because we are in partnership with Legal & General, residents will have confidence that we are committed to Epsom for the long term. All the facilities we are planning – wellness facilities, cafes and social spaces – are designed to bring people together as we want to promote multi-generational living and not create the kind of retirement ghetto many people associate with traditional retirement living.”
Bring older people closer to us
Michael Eggington, co-founder and CEO of Guild Living, added: “Britain is facing up to the reality that our ageing population and social care crisis means we have to do things differently and look at how we bring older people closer to us, helping them live healthier for longer.
“If we can get people outside interacting with various facilities and local green space, it gives people somewhere they can relax, offering a much nicer experience both for residents and people visiting loved ones. Because we have long-term capital from Legal & General, we are able to take a different approach than traditional developers can and our ambition for Epsom is to create a project that pushes the boundaries in terms of quality and design.”