Council considers plans for £55m luxury retirement village at Newton Mearns

The Netherplace Retirement Development has been earmarked for construction in a countryside setting just outsideNewton Mearns on a 17-acre former industrial site.
The Netherplace Retirement Development has been earmarked for construction in a countryside setting just outsideNewton Mearns on a 17-acre former industrial site.

A £55m luxury residential retirement development, expected to be the first purpose built of its kind in Scotland, is being planned for Newton Mearns.

This proposal will be considered by East Renfrewshire Council’s planning committee tomorrow (Thursday), June 14.

An aerial view of the proposed Netherplace Retirement Development.

An aerial view of the proposed Netherplace Retirement Development.

Developers say they have drawn up plans based on a vision of active later living.

They add that development challenges the perception of what a retirement scheme should be by offering a multitude of modern facilities to encourage activity and foster a strong community. The extensive list of facilities will include a clubhouse overlooking the reservoir, a fully equipped gym, spa amenities and various dining options.

The scheme involves an improvement of a previous application that was recommended for approval. The Netherplace Retirement Development is earmarked for construction in a countryside setting just outside Newton Mearns on a 17-acre former industrial site.

The development comprises 214 one and two-bedroom flats, 38 cottages and an 80-bed care home built adjacent to the development to offer extensive care amenities and specialist services designed to provide 24 hour support to its residents and the overall development.

The developers say an independent economic impact study estimates that the development will support more than 365 permanent jobs during the next 30 years and contribute more than £74m to the local economy within that timeframe.

The development is being taken forward by Glasgow and Singapore-based property company Scotsbridge Holdings, managed by locally-based property developer Shazad Bakhsh, who has worked closely with the Council in developing the proposal.

Mr Bakhsh believes Netherplace could become one of the most innovative new communities for over 55s anywhere in the UK and provide further inward investment to East Renfrewshire.

He said: “Netherplace will be so much than a retirement development, it will create a vibrant new community. By incorporating the latest thinking, contemporary design features and activities ranging from yoga to fishing, this development aims to reinvent the concept of retirement living in Scotland. We believe this project will ultimately reduce the burden on local authority care provision by providing residents with more intermediate care options.

“This is an opportunity to create a community in the truest sense of the word and tackle preconceptions of what a retirement development can be. The placement of these bespoke lifetime homes, with facilities which are second to none, will ensure a higher quality of living.

“In addition to signficiant facility and activity offerings, the development will also feature an on-site day care nursery ensuring interaction with the wider community while the considered layout will encourage neighbours to engage with each other. Our professional and experienced team has a vision to modernise the sector and provide a development to both answer demand and exceed expectations.”

Among on-site facilities, which will be used by both residents and the wider community, are a central two-storey club house, tidal pools, spa facilities, a fitness suite, multi-use spaces for community events, a clinic, a contemporary restaurant, function suites and various shops. The proposal will incorporate the very latest in information technology to provide the highest standard of support services for residents.

The development will be the most sustainable of its kind in Scotland, with a district energy centre and heating system to provide the most environmentally friendly power at the lowest possible price.

A reservoir on the site dating back to 1850 will be incorporated into the overall development with plans to create walkways around the water feature, which will be stocked with trout for fishing. Gardens and places to socialise will be a major priority along with the provision of garden sheds and barbecue/picnic areas.

Demolition and clearance of the site, a former dye works which last operated in 2003, has already been completed to enable works to begin as soon as possible should planning permission be granted.

Glasgow-based Jewitt & Wilkie Architects has been appointed to design the development.

Founder Jonathan Jewitt said: “We’ve carried out thorough and extensive research on aspirational, high quality homes and engaged with numerous public and private bodies to achieve the optimum scheme proposal.

“This proposal includes a wide variety of unique features which have been subtly future-proofed to cater for the changing needs of residents. By providing this kind of accommodation, it is expected that housing currently occupied by one or two persons within the surrounding community will be released into the market for much-needed family housing.”