DC Casebook: Community Facilities - Need proven for elderly infirm space

An inspector has approved a care home for mentally infirm elderly people in Manchester after rejecting council claims that it would lead to an over-concentration of special needs housing.

The appeal site fell within an area of constraint defined in supplementary planning guidance (SPG) adopted in 1998. This identified locations where economically inactive residents might affect economic and social balance. The locality contained above-average levels of special needs and supported housing and more should only be approved for an unmet local need, the council claimed.

The inspector was unconvinced by the council's evidence and gave little weight to the SPG because of its age. The council's figures provided a snapshot of beds available in care homes over nine months and did not include a rigorous assessment of past and future demand, he remarked.

He concluded that the appellant's evidence showed a need for high-quality special needs housing within a ten-minute drive-time catchment area. In any event, he noted that there was no national or local policy requirement for developers to demonstrate a need for care home provision.

DCS Number 100-069-115

Inspector Mike Moffoot; Written representations

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