We were delighted to join our colleagues at Audley Group for their update on the new Mayfield brand at The Building Centre on Store Street in London on Thursday.
Our Director, Toby Adam and Associate, Chris Jefford, who lead the GFA Mayfield team, were at the presentation hosted by Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group.
Nick began by reminding everyone of the history of Audley Group, and the villages that have been created under the Audley brand, many of which have been designed by GFA. Audley is a high-end product, with an enviable reputation for the quality of the interiors and communal spaces, as well as the quality of service. Audley Group intend to bring these qualities to a wider audience a more affordable level via the Mayfield concept. They will do this by providing slightly smaller apartments, and by doubling the number of units on a site from the typical Audley village of around 125, to 250. This will allow Mayfield to charge a lower monthly management fee, opening up this new vision of retirement living to whole new market.
ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) Executive Director, Michael Voges was on hand to offer an overview of the retirement living industry in the UK, compared to other more mature markets such as South Africa and Australia. He gave a detailed insight into the demographics and the scale of the challenge in providing housing and care for the older generation, but also noted that this generation are mostly homeowners with a sizeable asset which could offer the solution for providing an independent lifestyle with care on demand in your own home.
Audley Group Land Director, John Nettleton, then highlighted the new GFA designed Mayfield scheme at Watford, the first Mayfield project to have been granted planning permission to date. John described the investment opportunities, the funding vehicles and the planning advantages of having a C2 use on a masterplan, reminding those present that Audley and Mayfield make compelling and persuasive partners in land development. John noted that Retirement Living with care is a beneficial planning use and helps local authorities meet their plan obligations for providing specialist housing as well as freeing up family housing that is under-occupied.