Blog

Repurposing the high street for later living

Published: 20th July 2021
Area: Later Living

It is estimated that every year, unsuitable housing costs the NHS £1.4 billion. Issues with cold, damp and hazards causing trips and falls are leading to poor physical and mental health amongst the elderly. But what if there was a way to resolve this?

Last year, COVID-19 caused an average of 48 shops, restaurants and other leisure and hospitality venues to close permanently every day across England, Wales and Scotland. With a high number of empty units available, could repurposing the high street provide a better and safer solution to retirement housing?

The benefits

As reports of isolation are increasing, many of the retired generation are now seeking out sociable communities within close proximity of a town or city centre. Being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of town life offers the opportunity to take advantage of shops, restaurants and other cultural activities.

While car parking is often high up on the list of requirements for retirement living, building these communities close to all the necessary amenities reduces the reliance placed on motor cars by the older generation and could therefore be argued is more sustainable in the long run.

The challenges

However, city centre sites can be considerably harder to deliver from a construction perspective.

In the event a building is listed, developers will need to make extra considerations. As well as ensuring the basic requirements for retirement-friendly housing are met, such as accessible entrances and elevators, developers will also need to work within the existing infrastructure which can be more costly in the long term.

Nevertheless, despite these challenges, repurposing the high street for later living provides overwhelmingly positive benefits for the whole community.

Integrating a community within a community

When introducing any new building, it is important to get the support of the wider community, to avoid any issues or objections down the line.

Not only could the construction process result in some disruption, but the building design could also negatively impact existing residents and surrounding businesses. As a result, opening up a line of communication with the local authority and local residents beforehand would provide vital feedback on the project.

Carrying out prior research can also help to tackle any feelings of negativity towards the project and ensure that the location and building is in fact right for the retirement and wider community.

Although repurposing high street buildings for later living is still a relatively new concept, it could offer a viable way forward. Utilising empty units could not only indirectly benefit the NHS and help tackle loneliness, but it could also provide a safe and comfortable living experience for the retired generation.

Get in touch to find out how our building communities team can help.

We have launchedourguide to recovery and resilience, helping to support businesses and individuals unlock their potential, navigate their way out of lockdown and make way for a brighter future. Further advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found onourdedicated coronavirus resource hub.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. VisitSHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director's responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring,fundingand disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call0800 689 4064.

 

 

How can we help?

Our expert lawyers are ready to help you with a wide range of legal services, use the search below or call us on: 0330 024 0333

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

Key contract and pre-contract considerations | Avoiding insolvency in the construction industry

4 Nov

Laura Taylor, Associate | Frank Bouette, Partner
Key contract and pre-contract considerations | Avoiding insolvency in the construction industry

In this series, we will cover, pre-contract checks, insolvency/Termination clauses; step in rights, retention […]

Charity: Whose art is it anyway?

10 Nov

Andrew Wilkinson, Partner
Charity: Whose art is it anyway?

In this webinar, we will talk through the often tricky legal issues that arise, […]

Retirement housing: Why is the supply of housing with care so limited in Scotland and what will it take to boost it?

23 Nov

Louise Drew, Partner & Head of Building Communities
Retirement housing: Why is the supply of housing with care so limited in Scotland and what will it take to boost it?

In this webinar we will be joined by Andrew Fyfe, Co-founder of Sovereign Property […]

The warning signs: what to do when they appear and how to minimise risk | Avoiding insolvency in the construction industry

24 Nov

Kate Onions, Partner | Gareth Hegarty, Legal Director
The warning signs: what to do when they appear and how to minimise risk | Avoiding insolvency in the construction industry

The construction market is supposedly booming since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, but is suffering […]

Our Latest Thoughts

All the latest views and insights on current topics.

Seasonal worker visa and other options introduced for farm workers post-Brexit

20 Oct

Business Immigration

Seasonal worker visa and other options introduced for farm workers post-Brexit

Read article Right Arrow

Is flexible working set to change?

20 Oct

Employment

Is flexible working set to change?

Read article Right Arrow

Employment case law update | Autumn 2021

19 Oct

Corporate & Commercial

Employment case law update | Autumn 2021

Read article Right Arrow

FCA Considering Regulatory Changes to Consumer Investment Landscape

19 Oct

Corporate & Commercial

FCA Considering Regulatory Changes to Consumer Investment Landscape

Read article Right Arrow

Intra-Company Transfer Visa Update: Are you looking to transfer staff to the UK for temporary work assignments?

19 Oct

Business Immigration

Intra-Company Transfer Visa Update: Are you looking to transfer staff to the UK for temporary work assignments?

Read article Right Arrow