Ruth Stockley, acting for Trafford Council and Freddie Humphreys, acting for a local residents group as a Rule 6 party have been successful in securing the dismissal of an appeal into a 64 bed care home proposal following an 8 day Inquiry.  Trafford Council had originally refused the application for three reasons concerning (1) landscape and visual impacts, (2) impacts on the conservation area and (3) ecology matters.  The Rule 6 party supported the Council’s refusal and advanced further grounds against the scheme arguing that it failed to meet the needs of its own residents particularly regarding its inaccessibility.

The Inspector dismissed the appeal finding there were significant harms to the landscape character and visual harm from a number of receptors.  Furthermore, the Inspector accepted the Rule 6 party’s argument regarding the inaccessibility of the local area to the proposed occupants of the care home, stating in the decision that he had “identified significant shortcomings in the ability of residents to lead as independent a life as possible”.

During the course of the Inquiry the updated PPG on “Housing for older and disabled people” was published and formed part of the policy matrix for the determination of the appeal.  The decision will therefore be of interest to anyone concerned with planning for the elderly. 

Notably in the decision the Inspector found:  “Planning Practice Guidance says that inclusive designed can help older and disabled people live more independently and reduce health and social care costs.  This includes considerations around transport infrastructure and the ease and comfort of movement on foot and with mobility aids between homes, services and town centres.  This supports the Framework requirement for developments to address the needs of people with disabilities and reduced mobility in relation to all modes of transport.”

A copy of the decision can be found here.


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