Building work has officially begun on two phases of a major development in Watford.

Construction has started on 144 flats at Watford Riverwell, while Mayfield celebrated breaking ground for its new retirement village.

Riverwell is a huge mixed scheme near Watford General Hospital delivering around 1,000 homes, a primary school, retirement village, shops, and community facilities.

The development is being completed in lots of different phases with the first residents moving into flats in Maple Lodge in the Woodlands phase last May.

Now, the Waterside phase is up and running.

Bellway Homes is building 144 one, two, and three-bed apartments - the first of three buildings ranging from six to 11 storeys, which in total will include 408 apartments.

Watford Observer:

A CGI of Bellway's scheme

The development is located next to the River Colne - the river is also being cleaned up and enhanced.

Sales director at Bellway London, Greg Allsop, expects the flats to sell "very quickly" due to its proximity to the town centre and Watford Junction and Bushey stations.

He adds that Watford is the "number one choice for Londoners" looking to buy their first home outside the capital, according to Rightmove.

Elsewhere, building work for a new retirement village is now underway.

Watford's MP Dean Russell and property owners were invited to a VIP reception hosted by developer Mayfield Villages on February 14.

Mayfield Village will be home to 255 apartments, centred around the Mayfield Club.

Watford Observer:

CGI of the retirement village

The club will include a bar, cafe-bistro, swimming pool, village hall, fitness rooms and spa.

Nick Sanderson, chief executive at Mayfield Villages, said: "We are thrilled to break ground on Mayfield Watford village with owners, members of the local community and of course the village team. This is the first step towards us building our new vision for the way older people should live, creating a fresh, modern look on retirement living with a focus on community and inclusion."

Watford Observer:

Dean Russell MP, left, with Mayfield CEO Nick Sanderson, as the first hold is dug at Mayfield Watford

Mr Russell added: "The role of specialist retirement housing like Mayfield Watford, within our area, but also across the UK, is becoming increasingly essential.

"Developments like this are the first step in ensuring we have enough specialist housing in the UK to meet demand, giving older people aspirational housing that’s fit for their purposes."