This documentation which was promised in the 2017 Neighbourhood Planning Act was published on 26th June 2019. The guidance highlights the growing proportion of older people in the population, and the need for local authorities to have provisions in place to meet these changes. The following provides a summary of the main issues raised within this guidance.
Opinion:The release of this PPG is a positive step recognising that providing housing for older people is critical and that it needs to be considered from the early stages of plan-making through to decision taking. It is evident from a number of sources that there is a clear need for an increase in housing for older people. However, the lack of clarity on planning use classes is disappointing – there are implications here as nursing home use class (C2) generally brings with it exemption from affordable housing obligations, however standard retirement housing is considered as falling under a C3 use and therefore will attract a requirement for affordable housing. It seems clear therefore that this C2/C3 debate will remain a big issue at appeals. There is concern that this lack of planning recognition of the supposed lower financial return on schemes targeting older people, could still prove to the be biggest issue holding back the delivery of homes for older people.