The government has updated planning practice guidance so that greater emphasis is placed on councils to make provisions for the changing needs of older people.
Brandon Lewis the housing and planning minister has said that these changes will help to ensure that people over the age of 65 had a range of options to choose from to meet their changing needs. This includes better availability of bungalows, adaptations to existing properties and additional supported housing, reports Planning Resource.
In a statement to Parliament, Lewis said the amended guidance would “reinforce [the government’s] expectation” that councils would assess and plan to meet the diverse housing needs of older people.
“Local planning authorities need to be clear about the future level of both general and specialist accommodation that is needed for older people in their area. There are already many great examples of innovative, well-designed housing schemes which help older people to live as independently as possible.”
Lewis also said that many older people do not want or need to live in specialist accommodation and instead require more general housing.
The updated paragraph 21 of the planning practice guidance section on housing and economic development needs assessments stresses the importance of planning in helping older people to “live independently and safely in their own home for as long as possible, or to move to more suitable accommodation if they so wish”.
It adds that supporting independent living “can help to reduce the costs to health and social services”, and that assessments should set out particular types of general housing that would be suitable for older people, such as “bungalows or homes which can be adapted to meet a change in [older people’s] needs”.
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