Green light for £110 million retirement scheme in West Byfleet

By PRP – 13 April 2021

Image: Pixel Flakes

A planning application has been approved for Retirement Group Villages’ (RVG) first urban retirement village in the UK at West Byfleet in Surrey. Designed by PRP, the retirement-led development challenges the traditional high-street model by placing later-living housing above commercial units to better support the local economy.

As part of the masterplan, PRP has designed a new inclusive and easily accessible public square for the community, around 200 later-living apartments, and a number of beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces, such as podium gardens and roof terraces, where people can safely sit and socialise all year-round. A number of units for food, beverage and independent retail providers as well as a wellbeing and therapy centre complete the existing offerings nearby.

In a bid to future-proof the development, the new public square retail units have been designed to address the potential physical constraints of another pandemic, and new passageways and pedestrian routes have been created to improve connectivity from the nearby railway station to the high street to improve footfall.

The apartments have been designed to meet the needs of the later living community. Arranged over three buildings, the mix includes some larger two bed and two bed ’plus’ units, providing flexibility for those needing space for guests, to pursue a hobby or to work from home. Every apartment has a balcony, and residents have access to private roof gardens, particularly important in the post pandemic era.

The architectural approach and material pallet have been inspired by the historic Arts & Crafts buildings in the four surrounding conservation areas. The variety of materials and proposed brickwork for the scheme take reference to the movement, along with asymmetry provided by varying elevations in the wider view of the development.

Jenni Buterchi, Partner at PRP, said: “the pandemic has further accelerated the decline of our high-streets and RVG’s scheme provides a unique opportunity to breathe new life into the centre of West Byfleet while setting a new benchmark for future high-street regeneration across the UK. Our growing older population have an important role to play in enhancing the communities they live in and driving our economic recovery, so it is high-time that we deliver for them the high-quality urban housing that they need to thrive in their later-years. This would not only help to keep small businesses open but also create sustainable local communities for all.”


For more information, please contact Amelie Barrau, Head of Communications and PR at PPR:

About PRP

PRP is a long-established architectural firm with over 100 awards to its name. An interdisciplinary practice, PRP offers a full range of design and building services including masterplanning, urban design, landscape and development consultancy.

Few know as much about housing design and urban regeneration as PRP. With over 55 years’ experience to draw on, PRP has established an exemplary track record in the design and delivery of homes and places of varying scale, complexity and diversity. PRP employs more than 250 staff across its London, Manchester and Surrey studios.