Tetlow King Planning (TKP) has helped to achieve the approval of the first Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Scotland, at Musselburgh, to the east of Edinburgh, on behalf of Aisling Developments Ltd.
The proposal comprises a 120 bed care home, a 75 bed care home for dementia sufferers and 179 extra care units based around a village green and incorporating a wide range of community facilities contained in a central pavilion.
The application had been recommended for refusal by the planning officers of East Lothian Council on the basis that it did not comply with the current Local Plan, which made no provision for the development of ‘housing’ on the site. On 27th April 2010 the members of the full East Lothian Council actually decided to defer the application rather than refuse.
At this point TKP were called in to advise. Initially we prepared a comprehensive report drawing upon examples of other CCRCs across the UK demonstrating that the proposal as a whole should not be classified at all as Class 9 (housing) and only as Class 8 (care), which accorded more closely to the policies and principles of the Local Plan. Our report was submitted to the Council and following a presentation to the Chief Executive and Chief Officers of Planning, Social Services and Housing, our opinion was accepted in principle.
The officers’ remaining concern was to ensure that none of the units ever changed over time from Class 8 to Class 9. We were able to suggest draft Heads of Terms for a Section 75 (equivalent to Section 106 in England) legal agreement , again utilising other examples as a starting point. After extensive detailed negotiations over several weeks, including solicitors on both sides, terms were agreed.
Following the change to a positive recommendation from the officers, the full Council meeting of 22nd June 2010 ultimately resolved to grant permission.