Date: December 2009

Richmond Villages welcomes Government report on retirement homes model:
The company’s model featured as an exemplar for mainstream housing

Richmond Northampton

One of the luxurious sitting rooms
Richmond Northampton
Assisted Living
Apartment bedroom

Richmond Northampton
Library
Richmond Northampton

Richmond Villages, part of the Barchester Healthcare Group, welcomes recommendations in a Government report launched this month (December) supporting a new model for retirement homes in Britain.  In the report from the Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI), commissioned by the Homes and Communities Agency, in partnership with Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health, Richmond Villages features as an exemplar for retired living.  The company’s development at Grange Park, Northampton has all the qualities recommended in the report.

The HAPPI panel, chaired by Lord Richard Best OBE, carried out extensive research into housing for the elderly and visited 24 schemes in six countries, covering a variety of locations, a range of income groups, diverse lifestyles and cultures and every level of care provision.

Paddy Brice, managing director of award-winning Richmond Villages, says:  “We support HAPPI’s call for a national effort to improve mainstream housing and facilities for older people and are delighted Richmond Villages features as a case study in the panel’s report.  Our schemes demonstrate that through good design and the provision of excellent facilities and on-site 24-hour assistance and nursing care, a retirement village such as Richmond Northampton has much to offer the over 55s, where quality of life is a priority.” 

The HAPPI report identifies ten components for the design of housing for older people and Richmond Villages meets all this criteria as listed below.  HAPPI recommends that:

  1. The new retirement homes should have generous internal space standards, with potential for three habitable rooms and designed to accommodate flexible layouts.
  2. Care is taken in the design of homes and shared spaces, with the placement, size and detail of windows and to ensure plenty of natural light, and to allow daylight into circulation spaces.
  3. Building layouts maximise natural light and ventilation by avoiding internal corridors and single-aspect flats, and apartments have balconies, patios, or terraces with enough space for tables and chairs as well as plants.
  4. In the implementation of measures to ensure adaptability, homes are designed to be ‘care ready’ so that new and emerging technologies, such as telecare and community equipment, can be readily installed.
  5. Building layouts promote circulation areas as shared spaces that offer connections to the wider context, encouraging interaction, supporting interdependence and avoiding an ‘institutional feel’, including the imaginative use of shared balcony access to front doors and thresholds, promoting natural surveillance and providing for ‘defensible space’.
  6. In all but the smallest development (or those very close to existing community facilities), multi-purpose space is available for residents to meet, with facilities designed to support an appropriate range of activities - perhaps serving the wider neighbourhood as a community ‘hub’, as well as guest rooms for visiting friends and families.
  7. In giving thought to the public realm, design measures ensure that homes engage positively with the street, and that the natural environment is nurtured through new trees and hedges and the preservation of mature planting and providing wildlife habitats as well as colour, shade and shelter.
  8. Homes are energy-efficient and well insulated, but also well ventilated and able to avoid overheating by, for example, passive solar design, the use of native deciduous planting supplemented by external blinds or shutters, easily operated awnings over balconies, green roofs and cooling chimneys.
  9. Adequate storage is available outside the home together with provision for cycles and mobility aids, and that storage inside the home meets the needs of the occupier.
  10. Shared external surfaces, such as ‘home zones’ that give priority to pedestrians rather than cars, and which are proving successful in other countries, become more common, with due regard to the kinds of navigation difficulties that some visually impaired people may experience in such environments.

There are typically three types of accommodation in a Richmond Village: Independent Living Apartments, Assisted Living Apartments and care bedrooms within an impressive care home.  Facilities at Richmond Northampton include a restaurant, café, shop, IT room, library, craft rooms, a hairdressing salon and therapy rooms. 
For further information about Richmond Northampton please call: 01604 432600 or visit www.richmond-villages.com
Address: Richmond Northampton, Bridge Meadow Park, Grange Park, Northampton, NN4 5EB
The HAPPI report can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/public/documents/Happi%20Final%20Report%20-%20embargoed%20until%203rd%20dec%2009.pdf

Notes to editors

- Editors are invited to sample life at a Richmond Village development (TV and radio also welcome), please contact LawsonClarke PR if you would like to visit; you may wish to stay overnight in the guest suites and enjoy the facilities and excellent dining. 

- Richmond Villages designs, builds and operates luxury retirement villages, and is notable for providing 24-hour care on site at every location.  It has villages in Coventry, Warwickshire; Nantwich, Cheshire; Painswick, Gloucestershire; and Northampton.  Its fifth village opens at Letcombe Regis, near Wantage, Oxfordshire early in 2010.

- Richmond Villages is an award-winning retirement village developer.  Richmond Painswick in the Cotswolds and Richmond Northampton have been awarded ‘Best Retirement Development’ by both the ‘What House? Awards’ and the ‘Daily Mail Property Awards’.  Richmond Painswick has also received a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the ‘Assisted Living’ category at the ‘Daily Telegraph Your New Home Awards’.  These awards have recognised that Richmond Villages has created a stimulating and life-enhancing environment in which to enjoy retirement.

To obtain press information and accompanying images via the LawsonClarke on-line press office, go to:
http://www.lawsonclarke.com/releases/richmond_villages/091209-3-rich.htm

Issued by:                                           Anne Toomey/Jeremy Clarke/Tracey Bretherton
                                                          anne.toomey@lawsonclarke.co.uk
                                                          clarke@lawsonclarke.co.uk
                                                          tracey.bretherton@lawsonclarke.co.uk
                                                          LawsonClarke PR
                                                          Tel: 01285 658844
                                                          Fax: 01285 650080
                                                          www.lawsonclarke.com

Ref: RV21/2009