Approval of Application for Older Persons Housing in Tadley

Impact Planning Services is pleased to have secured planning permission for older person’s independent living accommodation. Following lengthy discussions with the Basingstoke and Dean Planning team the application was reported to committee with a positive recommendation for approval.

The changing demographic of the UK population is focusing attention on addressing the concerns regarding the ageing population, longevity, public health and social welfare costs and critically, loneliness. These issues are driving policy-makers to find accommodation solutions which will inevitably lead to the need to find sites for ageing members of the population who want to downsize and remain independent, but importantly, close-by their existing social scene.

The population of the UK is ageing. It is predicted that within district of Basingstoke & Deane alone the number of over 65’s will increase to 32,000 by the year 2041. This is equivalent to a 68.5% increase from 2016 to 2041.The development of accommodation specifically designed for older peoples and expressly supported within Policy CN4: of the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan 2011 to 2029 for housing to accommodate active older people if it meets a local need as set out within the accompanying guidance.

Whilst the application was submitted to the Authority for consideration in June 2019, the subsequent discussions with officers resolved arising issues pertaining to drainage on the site and impact on the Tadley Conservation Area and Listed buildings. One of the key issues was the demonstration of net biodiversity gain. It is clearly noted within DEFRAA guidance that on small sites of this scale it is difficult to propose a net gain in accordance with the strict calculations within the biodiversity matrix. The Applicant proposed numerous additional mitigation measures including bat and bird boxes and an onsite pond to demonstrate the conservation and improvements of biodiversity values on the site, to the satisfaction of the Biodiversity Officer.

We were pleased that this application was finally presented to the planning committee this week with a positive recommendation from officers’ not withstanding the fact that Basingstoke and Deane were unable to demonstrate a minimum of five years supply of housing land. The proposals were therefore considered in accordance with the NPPF paragraph 11 d) ii and the presumption in favour of sustainable development. A number of Councillors welcomed the delivery of this type of accommodation regarding it has enabling clear benefits for the community, in addressing the needs for an ageing population and encouraging downsizing in the local housing market. The proposals were unanimously approved by the Development Control Committee.

We look forward to working with the Applicant and securing the delivery of this proposal in the immediate future.

Image credit: NC Architects