Updated Government guidance to assist councils meet the housing needs of older and disabled people have been described as a “step-change” by Retirement Villages Planning Director Guy Flintoft.
The guidance, which was published on June 26th 2019, becomes part of the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) and is to be taken into account in drawing-up planning policies and deciding on planning applications.
Guy Flintoft said the changes were a helpful expansion on existing policy and should provide a “major wake-up call” to many local planning authorities.
“Many planning authorities have failed to properly understand and plan for these needs, so this guidance has the potential to usher-in a sea-change in attitudes and significantly boost delivery.”
The ageing population is arguably the biggest trend impacting on the changing needs of the population. Guy said the new guidance recognises for the first time the “problems perpetuated by failing to provide sufficient suitable accommodation and by contrast the benefits to individuals and society of taking action.”
“As identified in the guidance, suitable and dedicated housing for older people can help people live independently for longer, stay better connected with their communities and retain good mental health. These benefits combined can help reduce costs to adult health and social care.”
Guy also added it was important the guidance recognised there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
“We require a mix of housing to reflect the diverse range of needs. Many people will want and be able to live independently in a home of their own and that could mean their existing home, a new accessible general market home or one of a range of more specialist options which provides supported independence with varying levels of support, amenity and care.”