Virtual consultation

We held our first community consultation on Thursday 15 September, hosted virtually in the evening using Zoom. The event provided a first chance for local residents to engage with the project team, view the early stage designs, and raise any initial queries or ideas. For those who were unable to attend, a recording of the full event is available to watch here. 

If you would like to provide us with any feedback since watching the recording, please do get in touch with us on [email protected]

You can find an overview of the questions asked during the virtual consultation, along with our responses, below. 

Questions asked during the online consultation

Elstree is in an attractive location and well positioned to meet the needs of older people. We believe that our investment in the village would help support the already thriving community, who would utilise the public amenity on offer.    

We believe that the proposal adequately demonstrates that it meets the very special circumstances that means planning consent can be granted. There is a clear unmet need for these types of homes with extra care capabilities, and market conditions mean that other available sites in the area cannot be brought forward in a way that would help Elstree meet this need. Sites allocated for housing tend to be controlled by general market housebuilders with little interest in meeting the needs of older people.

In turn, this scheme will also be protecting other areas in the village from development.

Designs of the buildings are still at the early stages. To decide the height of the buildings, we will evaluate a variety of factors such as the height of nearby trees and what the ideal number of floors for residents would be.

As this is a work in progress, and testing needs to be carried out on heights, layouts and potential obstacles, an exact number of proposed homes is not fixed and still needs to be determined. However, RVG believes that successful and vibrant retirement villages tend to contain something in the region of 120-140 homes.

We have decided on five blocks, based on factors such as the number of people who will be living at the site and how to best foster a sense of community.

Unfortunately, at this stage, it is too early to say when construction would begin or how long it would go on for. Consultations will be ongoing for several months and, though it is possible that a planning application would be submitted this side of the new year or perhaps in early 2023, there is no fixed date for this. If the application was approved, it is highly unlikely that work would begin until 2024.

Designs are at an early stage, and RVG is committed to engaging closely with Elstree residents to help shape the process. We are holding an in-person public engagement meeting this Autumn.

Designs are at a very early stage and RVG is open to hearing suggestions from residents in Elstree. RVG intends that the facility will include a range of amenities to support social interaction and well-being. Potential amenities include a restaurant, bar and breakfast area, as well as relaxed lounge spaces. While the amenity on offer will be shaped by the community to suit its needs, existing villages offer local farm style shops, libraries, and clubhouses to support resident clubs and societies

This future of the pub is beyond the control and jurisdiction of Retirement Villages Group. However, we are aware that there are proposals to potentially reopen it.

We want to have a communal space which the residents could make use of. It might not look like a traditional village hall, but it would host the same kinds of activities and events.

RVG recognises that older people use GP services more than other age groups, but it is expected that, as the residents will mostly come from the local area, they will already be registered with the local surgery.
In some our other retirement communities, we have accommodated them with outreach surgeries. This is an on-site surgery room where the local GP will visit once a week. This is something we can look to have at Watford Road.

The site is positioned near the Londis convenience store in the village. In the neighbouring town of Borehamwood, there is a Lidl, Aldi, Tesco Extra, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s Local, and Marks & Spencer Food Hall.

Retirement Villages Group is aware that adequate parking space will remain important for residents, but also recognises that car ownership often declines with age and when retirement village communities establish themselves. RVG communities tend to have around eight car spaces for every ten residents. While this is less than one space per person, it is expected to be enough to satisfy parking requirements.

Based on the parking arrangements at RVG’s existing retirement villages, it is intended that there will be enough parking spaces on site and visitor parking will not spill over onto the road.

RVG has a number of community transport options across its retirement communities, including chauffer driven multipurpose vehicles and community minibuses. RVG will be exploring what option works best for Watford Road.

Again, it is too early to say at this stage. However, RVG believes that a retirement community will be successful if its pricing is appropriate and in proportion to its location.

The new development will be built with consideration of surrounding properties and their heights. In order to avoid impacting views, we will be building the site at a distance from nearby buildings and the blocks will be at a suitable height so not to eclipse any views.

Most of our future residents will already be registered at the local surgery so we do not believe it will be put under any more pressure.  

Personal care services would also be delivered when required, by a CQC registered agency, which would have facilities within the clubhouse, as well as providing care to residents within their homes at the development.

There will be two entrances on to the site which will help alleviate heavy flow of traffic. Generally, our residents are much less likely to be travelling during rush hour. Since we have shift patterns, a very limited number of our staff would arrive and leave during peak hours. In our retirement homes, car usage tends to be a lot lower per head meaning coming in and out of the property should not be that busy. The low levels of traffic that we are expecting means that traffic lights should not be necessary.

During the construction stage, there will be transport engineers involved to help come up with a construction management plan.

The freeholder, who owns the site has already taken steps to reassure the trustees of the sanctuary that they will have plenty of notice ahead of having to relocate. The trustees know that the site was never going to be their permanent home and there’s no intention to be turning anyone out right now. Together, we hope to help them find a more suitable location which will meet their needs for the long-term.

As a matter of corporate policy, RVG targets a net gain of 20% biodiversity. This means our landscape will become ecologically richer and more diverse than it is now. In advance of any work starting, we will apply a mitigation hierarchy following a comprehensive assessment. The first step, of course, is to avoid impacting on the local ecology as much as possible. We have already received the good news that there is no suitable habitat nearby for the protected Great Crested Newt. This means we can be sure our works will not endanger this precious species. As part of our sustainable urban drainage system, we also plan to have a pond on-site which will help boost the wildlife population.

The people most likely to move into the retirement village are most likely to be already from the local area, so the new residents would not necessarily represent an influx. Furthermore, the experience of other developments is that older people, have the time, resources and commitment to become very involved in fostering a real community spirit and can positively contribute to the area. The village will also bring more local employment opportunities.

On average, we expect approx. 1.25 people per property 

The people who work at our retirement villages usually come from the local area. There would be a team of people to help manage the village and ensure that things like maintenance, security and the care services were done properly.

Retirement Villages Group (RVG) offers 16 independent retirement living options across the UK. New RVG projects include Botanical Place in West Byfleet, Surrey. You can find out more at: