Anchor and McCarthy Stone’s £40m ‘affordable for all’ proposals for Sutton Coldfield get the go-ahead

Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of specialist housing and care for people in later life and McCarthy Stone, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities, have received a resolution to grant planning permission at Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee for their proposals to redevelop the former Royal Works site, off Coleshill Street, Sutton Coldfield.

The development will be the fifth retirement community to start construction as part of the unique partnership between these two organisations. Together, they are delivering a truly affordable offering by developing more than 1,000 multi tenure retirement properties offering all tenures across eight large scale retirement villages currently in the pipeline, with more to be added.

The partnership offers a range of tenures to meet different affordability levels among older people, including home ownership, shared ownership and social rent.

The affordable for all retirement community will deliver 137 high quality one- and two-bedroom apartments, designed to meet the diverse needs of Sutton Coldfield’s growing and ageing population. Customers will be able to tailor the level of care they require to suit their personal circumstances and needs, with different tenure options across the affordability spectrum. The development will have a GDV of c.£40m.

The development will consist of two buildings, designed to form one cohesive retirement community, with shared facilities and landscaped gardens accessible for residents of both buildings.

The proposals present an exciting opportunity to bring forward affordable specialist care accommodation for local, older people in Sutton Coldfield with 85 of the apartments provided as either social rent or shared ownership.

Since submitting a planning application in February 2022, Anchor and McCarthy Stone have worked closely with Birmingham City Council and statutory consultees to produce a final design that is appropriate for the site and works for the local community. This has involved reducing both buildings by one storey since the plans were first unveiled, reducing any perceived visual impact.

Research undertaken by WPI Economics considered the economic impacts of having specialist retirement accommodation, near to the local high street. The research indicates that this development in Sutton Coldfield, with 137 units, would likely generate around £1.6 million of spending per year, over £1 million of which would be in local businesses.

This spending by older people would help to support local High Street outlets from the newsagents and the butchers to the bakery, pub, and local cafe – in other words the shops and community spaces which make up the heart of the community.

Anchor and McCarthy Stone’s partnership is unmatched in the marketplace. There is a huge under-supply of truly ‘affordable for all’ retirement communities and research shows that 30,000 retirement units are needed a year across all tenures. For example, there are 2 million older people with housing equity of £150k – £250k who are not being catered for in the market, and this partnership will look to change this. Within this housing equity band there will be some at the upper end who can afford to buy outright and some in the lower end who will require a part ownership or social rented option.

McCarthy Stone and Anchor’s partnership aims to address the diverse needs of the nation’s ageing population, initially delivering more than 1,000 multi tenure retirement properties across eight large scale retirement villages, with a Gross Development Value of c.£250m.