McCarthy & Stone is to diversify its business as part of a plan to double output by 2012.

It is believed the company, which was bought for £1.1bn by HBOS, Sir Tom Hunter and the Reubens Brothers last September, is under pressure from its owners to grow.

As tipped in Building in May, the company will move beyond retirement homes into “total care” developments offering further support and nursing. It will also develop properties for disabled homeowners of any age.

Its assisted living division will expand beyond the South-east to the Midlands and South-west.