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Land previously belonging to Banbury and Bicester College is being transformed into a new multi-million pound retirement living complex.

Bromford has begun construction at its new Bath Road development after vacant college buildings were demolished to make way for 78 high-quality retirement living homes exclusively for over 55s. To mark the start of the £12m project, local students, college and council representatives joined Bromford colleagues at a special sod-cutting ceremony on Friday 25th November.

The college, which is part of Activate Learning, made the land available after relocating its media and motor vehicle facilities to a new, £6m centre, on the opposite side of Broughton Road three years ago.

Park Gardens will benefit from a café bistro and lounge, activity studio, gym, hair and beauty salon, landscaped gardens and parking. It will feature both one and two bedroom apartments for independent living and there will be a range of affordable tenure options. Residents will also have the option of specialist support and care tailored to their needs. 

Following the demolition of the existing buildings, Bromford’s in-house construction team has now begun laying the site foundations before the central steel structure can be created. A show home is due to open towards the end of 2017 and as progress on the development moves forward, the range of on-site facilities will create a number of job opportunities for local businesses.

Penny Downing, Bromford’s sales and marketing director, said: “Our retirement living homes are increasingly popular as they offer residents the opportunity to live in a lively and vibrant community where they can retain their independence; safe in the knowledge that support is available if they need it. We will welcome the local community, friends and family to become part of this next chapter in Bath Road’s history as we help our customers living in Park Gardens to enjoy their later years.

“We hope to welcome our first residents by the end of 2018 and it will be really exciting to see Park Gardens rising from the ground and beginning to take shape.”

New jobs

Cllr John Donaldson, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for housing, said: “Park Gardens is an exciting and much-needed development which will provide residents with a balance of independence and support, while supporting a range of lifestyle choices.

“We are pleased to see the substantial investment that Bromford is putting into the complex. This will support new jobs in Banbury and provide an attractive addition to the Bath Road area.

“I was very pleased to attend the sod-cutting ceremony and look forward to seeing how the work progresses.”

Julia Godwin, Commercial Manager-Specialist Housing at Oxfordshire County Council said: “The County Council is happy to be working in partnership with the District Council and Bromford to provide this retirement living scheme for older persons in Banbury. This scheme will be complementary to existing extra care and sheltered housing in Banbury and is part of our overall strategy to provide extra care housing for older persons in the County as set out in our Market Position Statement.”

Andy Marshall, Director for Lifeskills at Activate Learning, said: “Having invested in developing new facilities for our students in Banbury, we are pleased to be able to make this land available to provide much-needed affordable housing. We look forward to seeing the new facilities taking shape and exploring opportunities for our students to work with staff and residents at Park Gardens to provide services as they prepare for their careers.”

Read more about Park Gardens or register your interest here.

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