Policy C6: Health Care and Social Care Facilities
Proposals for the development of Health Centres, Surgeries, Clinics, Nursing Homes and Residential Care Homes will be permitted provided that such a proposal:
- is not in the Green Belt; and
- is well related to residential areas; and
- is located close to public transport routes and is accessible by a choice of means of transport; and
- would not have a detrimental affect upon the amenity of occupiers of nearby and adjoining properties or on highway safety; and
- allows level access for pedestrians and people with disabilities.
- And in the case of Nursing Homes and Residential Care Homes, in addition:
- Is well related to shops, community and social facilities; and
- both the location and the form of the development itself provide satisfactory standards of amenity and open space for the residents; and
- does not detract from the character or the appearance of the surroundings or from the amenities of existing residents.
4.248 With only one GP practice within Our Neighbourhood many residents are having to travel some distance to see their GP. This is a particular problem for older people who may not have access to a car and whose journey may involve a change of bus. We would therefore welcome a further GP practice within Our Neighbourhood, which would also meet the needs of a growing population. An obvious solution would be to bring St Margaret’s Health Centre back into use as a regular GP practice: Policy C4 will prevent this facility from being converted to another use unless an alternative in the same general area is provided in its place. This policy will also support the extension of the University Health Centre or the building of a satellite health centre for students in a different location.
4.249 While there does not appear to be a shortage of dental surgeries, this policy will ensure that any new or relocated surgeries are appropriately situated with proper access.
4.250 In the following text, ‘care homes’ means both nursing homes and residential care homes. Both are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and offer care and support throughout the day and night. In addition nursing homes have 24-hour medical care from a qualified nurse.
4.251 It seems reasonable, given the existing location of care homes, to consider the provision within Our Neighbourhood plus the electoral divisions of Belmont and Framwellgate and Newton Hall as a whole. At the 2011 census there were 3,180 people aged 75 and over living in this wider area, 1,020 of whom live in Our Neighbourhood. There are currently places for up to 340 people in the care homes in this wider area. As a rule of thumb, then, we can say that there is a requirement for one place in a care home for every 10 people over the age of 75.
4.252 It is predicted (for reasoning see Appendix D (Population, Households) that there will be approximately 500 more people in Our Neighbourhood aged over 75 by the end of the Neighbourhood Plan period. This equates to a requirement of an extra 50 beds in care homes, just to cater for residents of Our Neighbourhood, with a possible further 100 for the wider area. To meet this need it will be necessary either to expand existing care homes or to build new ones.
4.253 Access to shops and community facilities is more important for people living in residential care homes rather than nursing homes, as it enables them to retain contact with the local community. Satisfactory access to public transport for staff and visitors is essential.
4.254 Care homes must relate well in scale and appearance to adjacent development; careful design and generous amenity space will often be required to prevent large institutional buildings from dominating their surroundings. Areas of amenity space are similarly essential for the well-being of residents, to provide private sitting out and walking areas as well as pleasant surroundings. Care homes require satisfactory access and adequate parking in order that they do not impinge upon the neighbouring areas. Similarly, proposed extensions should not result in the over-development of sites. Sites suffering from high levels of noise or pollution, from traffic or other sources, are not suitable for these uses.
4.255 In addition we consider that our Neighbourhood Plan should support people who wish to make modifications to their houses in order to let them continue to live there rather than go into care homes. This is addressed by housing Policy D4 which covers housing for older people and people with disabilities.
Next section: Chapter 5: Implementation and Monitoring