Former Government training centre sold to provide new homes and a retirement village

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  • Home of former Government Civil Service College to be redeveloped to provide 103 apartments for people over 55 and 168 new homes.
  • Sale is part of the Government’s commitment to reduce the size of its estate and generate money for public services.

More than 150 new homes and a retirement village are to be built and operated on the site of a former Government training centre.

As part of its commitment to reducing the size of the Government estate, the Cabinet Office has sold the former Government Civil Service College site at Sunningdale Park in Berkshire for around £50 million.

The move will see the neo-Georgian building, Northcote House restored and the surrounding land redeveloped as a retirement village providing 103 apartments for people aged over 55. The site will also see the development of 168 new homes.

Cabinet Office Minister, Lord Agnew said:

This is a concrete example of how reducing the size of the Government estate can both generate money for vital public services and provide much needed new homes.

The restoration of the listed building at the heart of the development and opening up of its surrounding parkland for use by the public will also benefit the local community for generations to come.

Northcote House was sold to the Government in 1947 and was used as a training centre for civil servants until 2012. In recent years, the building had been used as a conference centre and hotel.

As part of the development of the site, the listed building will be sympathetically restored to form the centre of the retirement village with apartments, a restaurant and facilities for both property owners and those in the local area.

The further 168 new homes built in the grounds will include 38 affordable properties and public access will be allowed to 42 acres of green space surrounding the listed building.

The new homes will be built by the Surrey-based Berkeley Group.

Berkeley Group Chairman, Tony Pidgley CBE, said:

We are delighted to be moving ahead with this exciting project and look forward to working with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and local people to create a fantastic community at Sunningdale Park, alongside a beautiful new 42 acre public park for everyone to enjoy.

The retirement village will be built by the Audley Group.

Nick Sanderson, the Chief Executive of the Audley Group said:

This site presents a unique opportunity to create an aspirational mixed use development to serve the whole community. The demand for high quality retirement living options, with a holistic approach to housing, care and health, continues to grow and we’re proud to be leading the way.

As part of the Government’s work to reduce the size of its central estate, it is now 30 per cent smaller than it was in 2010.

In the past year alone, 339 former government buildings have been disposed of – returning £2.1bn to the public coffers.

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