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L&G breaks ground on UK’s first carbon neutral retirement village

Legal & General has started work on a £120m net-zero carbon retirement community – the first of its kind in the UK.

Delivered by Inspired Villages, L&G’s developer and operator of later living homes, Millfield Green comprises 200 homes in Caddington, Bedfordshire, designed to be age-appropriate and to help meet L&G’s net-zero targets.

Green features of the development include on-site renewable energy generation – something the UK Green Building Council has emphasised in recent guidance for developing net-zero buildings – EV charging and improved building and fabric insulation.

It also includes ground-source heat pumps alongside mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems, which reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency.

Last year, L&G announced plans to make all residential accommodation across its six housing businesses operationally net-zero by 2030. It said its first net-zero community is a testament to the company’s long-term vision for housing in the UK.

Phil Bayliss, CEO of later living at Legal & General, said: “We have to build back better after Covid-19, and the housebuilding sector provides both jobs and vital economic resilience. Millfield Green is set to create 1,100 jobs through construction and operation. But as we accelerate building, we have to avoid stoking up a climate crisis, which will create another serious emergency.

“We continue to make terrific progress through our partnership with Inspired Villages as we set out to revolutionise the later living offer in the UK and address the chronic shortfall in supply. Bringing forward the UK’s first net-zero retirement community is another string to this bow, creating savings for residents and clear environmental benefits as we progress towards a carbon-free future.”

The UK delivers about 7,000 retirement homes per year, but an ageing population will continue to put pressure to deliver more housing that meets specific needs.

Alongside its environmental benefits, Millfield Green will be designed to meet community and wellbeing needs. This includes a restaurant, café, wellness centre, a library and a cinema room, with many of its features open to both residents and the local community.

Launched in 2017, Inspired Villages operates six later living communities across the UK and has plans for another 2,500 homes over the next six years.

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