This month Summerset got the green light from the Environment Court, with construction planned to commence in 2021 of the proposed Summerset village in Lower Hutt. When complete, the village will be home to approximately 300 residents and will offer the full continuum of care. Options available will range from independent living and serviced apartments, to a care centre providing both rest home and hospital-level care. It will also offer Summersets' state-of-the-art Memory Care Centre for people living with dementia. The consent comes seven years after Summerset first purchased the 3.2-hectare site bordering the Boulcott’s Farm Heritage Golf Club.
The project had divided the community which were opposed to the height and density of the buildings and the threat increased traffic would bring to the neighbourhood where there were already concerns around parking congestions with the nearby private hospital.
Chief executive Julian Cook said in a written statement that the Environment Court consent was good news for locals who wanted options to retire in their own community.
Forecasts show that the population increase in Lower Hutt’s over-75 population would more than double over the next 20 years.
“High-quality comprehensive care retirement villages are limited in the Hutt Valley and Hutt City Council’s own urban growth strategy specifically includes new retirement villages to accommodate an ageing population,” he said.
Summerset had received written approval for the current design from the majority of neighbours on the boundary of the village, after revision to the plans which included a new roof-terrace lounge and a new shared garden, along with tree planting on the boundary.
"It will be a low impact, warm and welcoming village which sits comfortably in a premium neighbourhood," said Cook.
The multi-level buildings were bespoke architectural designs using concrete and timber materials to blend into the neighbourhood.
“Our architects have taken great care to design the village to reflect its locale. Building materials, stepped roof heights, the use of green spaces and boulevards, and placement of the taller apartment buildings on the golf course boundary will create a village that’s sympathetic to its environment,” Cook said.
Construction was likely to start in 2021 and projects of this scale create about 350 construction jobs over three to four years and once completed the village would employ about 40 to 50 full-time staff. Job creation would be in areas such as management, nursing, caregivers and property maintenance.
More than 300 people have expressed interest in the village so far.
(images are indicative only) take a 3d view of a 3bed villa here