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McCarthy Stone responds to publication of new national planning guidance for older people

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News and community
Posted 26 June 2019
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McCarthy Stone responds to publication of new national planning guidance for older people

26th June 2019

McCarthy Stone, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities, has responded to today’s publication of new national planning guidance for councils on older and disabled people’s housing by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).  

Gary Day, Land & Planning Director for McCarthy Stone, said:

“Retirement communities have a hugely positive impact on the well-being of older people, creating happier, healthier and longer lives, and help manage the impact of an ageing population. However, local and national planning policy has been largely silent on the need to build this form of housing and as a result, just c.162,000 retirement properties [1] for homeowners have ever been built in this country.

“We therefore welcome todays’ publication of new guidance and recognition of the need for local authorities to do more to plan for the provision for specialist housing for older people, noting that its need is ‘critical’. In particular, we welcome the confirmation that retirement communities have a different viability model and should be assessed separately.

“However, this new guidance must be a first step in the reform process.  Greater planning changes are required to address the challenges of developing in this sector.  This includes the need for a new use class for retirement communities and greater recognition of the additional costs and complexities of development.   This will help ensure that we and other developers can meet the growing demand in this important part of the housing market.” 

The full guidance can be read here.


Benefits of retirement communities and extra care:

  •  Freeing up under-occupied housing that families and younger people could move into would release some of the 10 million empty bedrooms in the homes of older people by 2026.*
  • McCarthy & Stone homeowners report huge health benefits: almost nine out of ten say moving improved their quality of life and, as a result, they have fewer visits to health professionals and return home more easily after stays in hospital.**
  • Government research shows that each person who lives in specialist retirement housing saves c.£3,500 a year in health and social care bills.***
  • Helps address the housing needs of a rapidly ageing population. 11.8m people are aged 65 or over, with a 47% increase predicted by 2027.****
  • Customers could save c.£13,300 a year in care costs compared to a residential care home.*****


*           Intergenerational Foundation, Hoarding of Housing (2011)
**         Survey of Homeowners by the NHBC and HBF (2017)
***        Homes and Communities Agency (2010). Figures updated for inflation. 
****      ONS (2017)
*****     McCarthy & Stone research (2018)

Please contact Justin Griffiths/ Victoria Heslop for more information on [email protected] and +44 (0)20 7250 1446.

[1] Knight Frank: Retirement Housing (2018) 

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