Praise for sustainability and social and community standards at Botanical Place

Posted 28/08/2023

With construction underway to build the UK’s first whole-life net-zero carbon integrate retirement community at Botanical Place, in the heart of West Byfleet, the team on site has been awarded Excellent following its first Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) Monitor visit.

Building with sustainability in mind
Being developed in the heart of the village of West Byfleet, Surrey on the site of the former Sheer House office block and shopping precinct, Higgins Partnerships and Retirement Villages Group are committed to creating a sustainable new community, that not only connects to the thriving centre of the village, but also breathes new life into the location. The development will be the flagship in the new Thrive Living collection, Retirement Villages has developed to give older people more choice and flexibility in later life.

Social and community connections
With significant emphasis on engaging closely with the local community throughout the development, the CCS report praised the team for the detailed community plan and engagement with neighbours through ‘meet and greets,’ highlighting the high levels of interest from local people on the work taking place as the site has remained dormant for a number of years. Strong support for local shops and businesses and charitable support from site and head office was also recognised. The social engagement plan has involved reaching out to local businesses to find out who they are and how we could work together, through a Meet West Byfleet campaign that looks to build long-term relationships with these local businesses.

Living up to the sustainability promise
Setting new standards for sustainable later living at Botanical Place, the implementation of the Environmental and Social Governance Policy, which is heavily promoted and adhered to, was also noted, with 98% of waste diverted from landfill and bamboo and ceramic cups used on site. Low carbon vehicles are also being used in the fleet along with a year-on-year carbon reduction strategy.

A supportive working environment with open door management style along with strong training and personal development was also celebrated in the report, with emphasis placed on equality and diversity, including work with Women into Construction. Terry Unitt, Senior Project Manager, leading on the development comments,

“We’ve worked closely with the team at Higgins to ensure we live the promise on sustainability. West Byfleet. With open green spaces, an active tree planting scheme, and powered by green energy from the get-go, Botanical Place looks to build a sustainable footprint for the future.”

Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins Partnerships says, “We are continuously working to raise the standards of the construction industry and build trust with the public so to receive this Excellent rating on our first visit is a testament to the hard work and procedures our team puts in place on a daily basis.

“We are extremely proud of what we are delivering here at West Byfleet in partnership with Retirement Villages Group and look forward to continuing to build our relationship with the local community.”

Botanical Place is creating 197 homes for older people and properties will be available to buy and to rent. Community is at the heart of the 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 community space.