Landmark 'dementia village' plan for Canterbury

First-of-a-kind development planned for new Mountfield Park scheme

A dementia village is being planned at the new Mountfield Park development in Canterbury

Developers behind a major mixed-use scheme in Canterbury have announced that it could become the first location in the UK to include a dedicated ‘dementia village’.

Mountfield Park will have 4,000 homes, 70,000sq m of business space, two primary schools, extensive areas of woodland and open space, a reserve site for the Kent & Canterbury Hospital, and a community hub.

I would like to make the development of a dementia village a priority and start work on building it as soon as possible

With the first homes due to open next spring, it has now been announced that developer, Corinthian Land, is planning to include a dementia village, which could become home for up to 250 people with the condition.

If given the go ahead, the village will be the first community of its kind in the country.

The idea is modelled on a successful scheme, Hogeweyk, already operating near Amsterdam, in Holland.

Simon Wright, chief executive of Corinthian Land, visited the Dutch facility recently with care home provider, Avante.

Simon Wright

"It was very impressive," he said.

“In my opinion it is just the kind of facility we need across the UK as the number of dementia suffers is set to rapidly increase.

“I would like to build the first one in Canterbury. The concept is simple yet ground-breaking: we build a village for dementia suffers which can also accommodate their carers and immediate family and make it totally safe and secure.

"Within the village there would be a range of facilities such as shops, a care centre, a cinema and recreational facilities. Housing would be a mix of accommodation with a focus on encouraging couples affected by dementia to stay together.”

The concept is simple yet ground-breaking: we build a village for dementia suffers which can also accommodate their carers and immediate family and make it totally safe and secure

He added: “I've had personal experience of witnessing this cruel disease first-hand. I would, therefore, like to make the development of a dementia village a priority and start work on building it as soon as possible.

“While we have the building expertise, we do not pretend to know everything about the care system so we will partner with a highly-respected care provider who will run it.

“Residents will buy or rent their accommodation and fund their own care within the village. I can't think of a more-empathetic way of dealing with this major issue."

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