Car ban judged unrealistic at elderly people's homes

Concerns over parking provision have led to dismissal of plans for seven dwellings reserved for residents over 60 in Colchester after an inspector found that making the scheme largely car-free would be unrealistic.

The site lay on a busy classified road in a residential area where development plan policy required a minimum of one parking space for each of the one-bedroom dwellings, as well as parking space for visitors. The appellant proposed five visitors parking spaces and a parking area and charging point for electric scooters.

The inspector saw a reasonable likelihood that some residents would still use cars for their day-to-day needs. The appeal site was not in sufficiently close and easy proximity to shops and other services to make a car-free development practicable for able-bodied elderly people, he judged. In his view, the scheme would have insufficient off-road parking space, giving rise to undue parking congestion in the area.

He also concluded that limited visibility at the site access would significantly compromise highway and pedestrian safety and any scope to improve this fell on land outside the appellant’s control. While acknowledging government support in the NPPF and a 2015 written ministerial statement for meeting the accommodation needs of elderly people through a range of provision, he found no evidence of a specific need for this type of accommodation in this location.

Inspector: Robert Fallon; Written representations

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