Green light on Botanical Place as MP and Councillors break ground and construction starts on site

Posted 27/09/2022

Work is officially underway on the construction phase of Retirement Villages Group’s (RVG) much-anticipated Botanical Place project in West Byfleet.

Marking the occasion, dignitaries from across Woking Borough attended the project’s ‘Green Shovel’ ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday afternoon. Guests posed alongside an eye-catching green spade which represented RVG’s sustainability and environmental ambitions for the project as the ground was broken on what will be the UK’s first whole-life net-zero carbon retirement community.

Attending the event, member of parliament for Woking, Jonathan Lord MP said: “I’m thrilled to have been invited to mark the fantastic progress being made on this key project. I know that reaching this crucial milestone today will mean so much to so many in the local community who are looking forward to enjoying a thriving village centre here in West Byfleet.”

Cllr Will Forster, Deputy Leader of Woking Borough Council, added: “This is a momentous day for the local communities of West Byfleet and Pyrford. I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the start of the construction phase of this exciting project, which shares the Council’s own values of creating a sustainable built environment and ensuring net-zero carbon.”

Botanical Place is being developed as an integrated retirement community at the centre of the village of West Byfleet, on the site of the former Sheer House office block and shopping precinct. RVG’s mission is to create sustainable communities, connected to thriving local centres, breathing new life into urban and suburban neighbourhoods and country locations.

The scheme will be home to 197 apartments for people of retirement age to buy or rent. Community is at the heart of this development, focusing on upholding independence, flexibility and wellbeing. Excellent facilities including health and wellbeing amenities will be available on site, as well as a range of services and retail options for the wider public. A new, landscaped public square will provide a central focus with surrounding shops, a restaurant and a public library.

Stewart Moore, Chief Operating Officer at Retirement Villages, said: “Despite the current challenges facing the construction sector, working with our colleagues at Higgins Partnerships, we are delighted to have reached this significant milestone on our Botanical Place project. Being the first of our new generation of sustainable, integrated in-town developments, we are excited to be working on this project of great importance to us as an organisation and the local community here in West Byfleet.”

Steve Leakey, Managing Director at Higgins Partnerships, said: “This Green Shovel event marks an important moment in the start of work on site to deliver this exciting whole life net-zero carbon retirement development. We are proud to be working in partnership with Retirement Villages Group and look forward to building on the successful relationships they have already created with the local community to deliver employment and training opportunities as well as working with groups to provide volunteering and fundraising initiatives.”