Matcham Grange, Harrogate

Development of brownfield site in Harrogate for retirement housing has knock-on benefits for whole community

Box Architects worked with McCarthy Stone to create a 54-apartment retirement development in the North Yorkshire town. But the benefits will be felt beyond the residents of the Retirement Living PLUS property, which can offer a high level of assisted living if required.

By creating high-quality, long-term retirement accommodation, Box and McCarthy Stone have helped free up other housing in the town, which is characterised by its large stock of large, low-occupancy homes. In turn, an influx of families and younger people will be able to give a welcome boost to local shops and services, and provide economic benefits for the whole area.

“This is a development that doesn’t just benefit the people who will live in the high-quality retirement properties, it will also have a cascade affect across all housing stock in Harrogate that will benefit the whole community.

Graham Place, CEO, Box Architects

Consideration of wider environmental, economic and community factors was an important part of the project from Day One.

Box worked closely with the client to evaluate what was a large derelict site in a prime residential area in Harrogate to add value to the project. The design of the main McCarthy Stone development allowed plots to be sold for private housing, while still respecting the character of the surrounding area.

A public exhibition and one-to-one meetings with stakeholders were held as the original design for the derelict site was refined to ensure the retirement accommodation integrated with the local community as well as enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

For example, a palette of traditional materials was used for the property on Wetherby Road, which was designed in consultation with Harrogate Borough Council. Box delivered a building that steps down from three storeys to two to match neighbouring residential properties, and features brick and render walls, artstone copings, slate roof and lead work on the dormers as a reference to the local vernacular.

It is a substantial building, created in accordance with design guidance for retirement living that recommends a single mass and footprint for ease of movement by residents through the development. However, its impact on the neighbourhood has been softened by existing boundary trees, which are subject to preservation orders, and by its position on the large site.

Box have previously partnered McCarthy Stone on developments in Morpeth, South Shields, Ripon, Darlington, Holcombe Brook, Guisborough and Hexham. The development of their Retirement Living PLUS property in Harrogate includes 34 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom retirement properties. It also features a communal lounge and bistro-style restaurant and a guest suite for family and friends.

  • High-quality retirement development frees up homes for families and young people
  • Development provides wider environmental, economic and community benefits for area
  • Box worked with McCarthy Stone on initial site evaluation to gain maximum value from the project
  • Public exhibition and stakeholder engagement to allay development fears