Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Care and Supported Housing

11.24 The range of accommodation needed by various groups in the community extends beyond conventional dwellings to more specialised forms of accommodation such as sheltered housing (specialist accommodation typically individual apartments with on-site support in secure surroundings), extra care housing (typically individual apartments for older people with varying levels of care need and benefiting from shared facilities such as laundry, lounges or garden), residential care homes and nursing homes providing 24/7 care. Kent County Council has prepared a strategy (Kent Social Care Accommodation Strategy) to help deliver choice and access to high quality accommodation to vulnerable adults eligible for care and support. A key principle of this is to ensure people are not isolated from their communities and are able to live healthily and safely in their own homes. The accommodation strategy is informed by estimates of projected demand for need for particular types of accommodation. However, gaps in provision will be identified and addressed to reflect the objective of independent living and promoting appropriate housing and support to reduce reliance on residential and nursing care.

11.25 There is a growing need for specialist housing for older persons, as identified in the SHMA. In order to meet the forecast change in population of people aged 75 and over, the SHMA identifies a potential need for 1,522 units of specialised accommodation for older persons over the plan period (76 units per annum).

11.26 Thanet has historically been overprovided with some forms of accommodation which has caused concerns regarding importation and concentration of vulnerable and dependent people. For example in spring 2013 it was estimated that nearly two thirds of the 525 looked after children in Thanet were placed from areas outside the district; the majority of placed children being from outside Kent. While sympathetic to the needs of such people, the Council does not regard this overprovision of accommodation to meet demand arising outside the local area as sustainable or conducive to a balanced community. Therefore in considering individual proposals the Council will have regard to evidence of local need and, where applicable, the potential contribution development could make to the accommodation strategy for adult social care clients in Kent (Kent County Council).

11.27 The needs of the district for supported housing are an important consideration, and proposals meeting such need and in line with the Accommodation Strategy will be supported. Sheltered housing proposals will be supported where it is demonstrated that proposals would accommodate expected needs arising within the district.

11.28 For the purposes of planning policy, proposals for retirement homes, sheltered housing and extra care housing will, unless circumstances indicate otherwise, be regarded as residential dwellings and subject to usual planning policies for residential development. Household projections indicate an increase of 591 people living in registered care accommodation over the plan period (30 per annum). Where accommodation provides a higher level of care, such as nursing homes, then such uses will be regarded as Class C2 and specifically subject to clause 2 of the following policy.

11.29 The following policy seeks to facilitate an appropriate level of provision of good quality accommodation in line with the objective of supporting a balanced and inclusive community, and enabling independent living as far as possible.

 Policy HO20 - Care and Supported Housing

The Council will seek to approve applications that provide good quality accommodation that is needed to support the housing and care requirements of Thanet's community (including provision of facilities and services which will support independent living).

Where such accommodation falls within Use Class C2 proposals will be expected to demonstrate they are suitably located to meet the needs of the occupiers including proximity and ease of access to community facilities and services, and compatible with surrounding land uses.