THE developer and manager of retirement communities, McCarthy and Stone, has responded to Boris Johnson’s appeal for developers to “build, build, build” by seeking land in Winchester, as it looks set to invest around £5million in older people’s housing in the city.

McCarthy and Stone is predicting a strong increase in demand for retirement living in Winchester, given that the UK’s 65+ population is set to grow by 43 per cent in the next 20 years.

The firm is seeking appropriate sites for a new multi-tenure retirement community.

A well as increasing the provision of apartments and bungalows for the over-60s, McCarthy and Stone communities typically provide retirees with the option of being able to purchase, rent, or part-buy part-rent their property, with tailored on-site care and support services available. Providing a supportive environment with a community feel, McCarthy and Stone reported a lower impact of Covid-19 within its 441 developments than seen among the general over-65 population.

Representing a boost for the local employment market, an average McCarthy and Stone scheme of 40 apartments provides approximately 50 jobs for the duration of construction, with the company committed to using local sub-contractors, tradespeople and suppliers. When complete, each new community also results in the creation of up to 17 full and part time positions.

McCarthy and Stone is searching for land in Winchester of between 0.5 to 5 acres, ideally with level access and in a prominent location close to the high street or to local amenities.

John Tonkiss, chief executive, said: “The PM is spot on in recognising that housebuilding will be central to the UK’s recovery effort, and more and better housing for older people is a critical part of the mix.

“We have identified Winchester as a key location for us, and we need new land in the city in order to satisfy this growing demand. I would urge landowners or those who are in a position to make a new site introduction to come forward at their earliest convenience and have a discussion with our land buying team. Generous commissions are available for the right site.”