I was having a read through Birmingham's Future City Plan, which is Birmingham City Council's blueprint document that sets out its vision for the city centre for the next 20 years.
One thing that struck me is that there is no mention at all in the document of development to accommodate the huge number of new 65-plus households that will be created each year over the next decade (180,000 each year nationally) .
Would building retirement homes in town centres help solve this problem and bring other benefits? Benefits such as:
- occupiers of retirement homes having access to local amenities and public transport links;
- older generations being brought back into the heart of communities, reducing isolation and loneliness;
- the re-purposing of obsolete space in town centres;
- development on brownfield sites rather than green belt;
- the freeing up of larger family homes for the younger generation as the over 65s downsize;
- more people in town centres, generating spend and footfall for local shops.
The attached article is an interesting read, and it will be intriguing to see if town centre retirement living gains traction over the forthcoming years.
“It is a very good idea to get more people living in town centres. We also need more housing for older people over 65, and it absolutely makes sense for them to be living in urban locations. Many will move with a lot of housing equity in their pockets, which will generate spend and footfall for local shops.”