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FORE Partnership Reveals Plans for Net Zero Later Living Scheme

Ethical investor FORE Partnership and extra care operator Amicala have revealed plans for a new net zero senior living community in Bristol, providing 120 much-needed specialist homes as well as a range of community benefits.

Designed by PRP Architects, the scheme on the five-acre site of the former St Christopher’s School in Westbury Park comprises around 93,000 sq ft of existing buildings, including the Grade-II listed Grace House.

The emerging proposals, which are being brought forward by development manager First Base, will provide around 120 homes for seniors through the sustainable refurbishment of the existing buildings, along with a collection of two storey cottages and four low-rise blocks ranging from 4-6 storeys designed to sit sensitively within the extensive site.

Grace House will be transformed into a hub for the wider community, potentially with a publicly accessible café and activity rooms, as well as ‘wellness’ facilities, including a hydrotherapy pool and gym. The designs also include extensive open space, sensory gardens, community food growing spaces and other rich landscaping. The project team is committing to generating a biodiversity net gain of at least 10 per cent.

Pledging to build to the highest levels of sustainability, the project will use low carbon construction techniques and materials. In operation, the community will be net zero carbon and fossil-fuel free, drawing energy from renewable electricity as well as generating onsite solar energy.

The development will also generate wider social and community benefits; helping address the shortage of specialist accommodation for older people in Bristol, alleviating pressures on the NHS and social care systems, and freeing up local homes for families in the city looking to up-size.

Representing an investment of up to £80 million, a package of socio-economic benefits to Bristol includes local jobs and training opportunities, from construction through to the ongoing operation of the extra care community.

The public consultation will run from 1 December to 19 January 2022, with more information at

Basil Demeroutis, managing partner, FORE, said: “As an industry leader in sustainability and social value, we have a deep commitment to ensuring every project we bring forward is beneficial to the environment and generates significant community and social benefits. By retaining and enhancing existing buildings and adopting ultra-low carbon construction on the new development we will reduce the environmental impact of the scheme, which will become the first retirement living community in Bristol to achieve net zero. We hope this scheme will become an exemplar for a new generation of integrated retirement communities that have sustainability, community and social value at their heart.”

The project will help address the shortage of specialist accommodation for older people in the local area and Bristol as a whole. Within Bristol, the over 65s account for every one in seven people, while there are 9,100 people aged 85 or older. By 2043, Bristol Council predicts there will be a 40 per cent increase over 75s in the city, which demonstrates the increasing demand for age-appropriate housing.

The St Christopher’s project is set to be the first in a new generation of ultra-sustainable net zero extra care communities to be developed by FORE and Amicala. The partners are actively seeking further opportunities, aiming to assemble £300m pipeline of projects to provide as many as 1,000 extra care homes. Target projects have a minimum potential of 100 homes and will be located in strong regional centres like Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Cambridge, and within the M25.