Consultancy calls for specialist housing provision
Thu 22 October 2015, 4:45 pm
Planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore has called for housebuilders to provide more specialist accommodation for older people, after its research concluded that councils throughout Medway and Kent are dealing with a 73% increase in the number of people aged over 65.
The report, ‘An ageing nation: are we planning for our future?’ raised the concern that a considerable number of local authorities are not planning properly for their ageing population.
Research for Medway concludes that the population figure of 268,218 is due to increase by 2037 to 326,849. The number of those aged over 65 is predicted to increase from 39,105 to 69,917 in the same period – a five per cent increase.
Government policy requires all councils to deliver and plan for a mix of housing based on current and future demographic trends, market trends and the needs of different groups within the community – including families with children, older people, service families and people with disabilities.
Huw Edwards, planning partner at Barton Willmore’s Ebbsfleet office, said: “As older people retire, there is a strong case for creating quality and attractive retirement housing for those who would like to move or down-size – freeing up space in economic centres, alleviating pressure on our stretched housing supply and helping to tackle the housing crisis.
“To achieve this ultimately, we need a way to make strategic and sensitive decisions about housing that support the effective functioning of the market as a whole.”