Planning Applications Success Relating to Extensions/Alterations to Integrated Retirement Communities

January 20, 2023 3:39 pm Published by

TKP are delighted to have assisted in two successful recent planning applications for developments providing accommodation with care and support for older people.

Both applications dealt with new buildings at existing Integrated Retirement Communities (IRC), a term launched by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), the main organisation representing the sector in the UK.- What is an Integrated Retirement Community?  Both applicants are members of ARCO and TKP are part of the affiliate network.

Grove Place, Nr Romsey

The site is within Test Valley Borough Council, application 21/03748/FULLS. TKP submitted the planning application, helped in the preparation and negotiated with the Council.

The application was made by LifeCare Residences, the operator of the existing community which consists of over 100 older person units with extensive communal/service areas set within historic gardens. The proposal related to the redesign of a previously approved free-standing building in the grounds of a Grade 1 Listed Building, an Elizabethan Manor House, now converted to communal facilities serving the community. TKP also acted as the planning agent on the previous application which added a care home to the site, with significant dementia care,  alongside more relatively independent apartments within a single building.

The site is an open countryside location where most types of development are not encouraged.

The purpose of this proposal was to enhance what had previously been approved while also seeking to diversify the type of accommodation being offered in the local area and for existing residents of the wider site as an option if ever required. The opportunity was also taken to significantly improve on carbon reduction measures through the generation of onsite energy.  The floor area and height of the building increased from the previous approval. The number of care beds remained the same, but the layout, space and functionality were improved though the amended design for future residents. The more independent supported units were increased in number from 10 to 20 in part by now making use of the roof space.  This change was seeking to provide a greater range and sophistication of supported accommodation being offered at the site for older people.   Another important element was a redesign of communal areas within the building to better serve future residents of the proposal but also those of the existing site through improved social/meeting place areas, facilities and guest accommodation. These changes were based on the most up-to-date modern thinking on layout, functionality and quality which is constantly evolving.

Battenhall, Worcester

The second application, application 21/01023/FUL, is within Worcester City Council’s area and submitted on behalf of Enterprise Retirement Living, the operator of the existing village. The wider IRS, now operational, is a truly outstanding development Mount Battenhall Retirement Village  involving several listed buildings and not least, the now converted Grade II* listed Battenhall Mount (formerly St Mary’s Convent School).

TKP assisted with planning matters on the proposal, helping to instruct consultants and negotiating with the Council while providing material on the comments of consultees. TKP had been involved on the wider site for several years assisting with planning issues. The agent on the application were KKE Architects  based in Worcester, who have had a long-term involvement with the wider site providing excellent designs and solutions to meet the brief of the client.  KKE Architects Information on Battenhall

This recently approved proposal was the resubmission of a commenced, but not completed, planning application on a site adjoining the main IRC site. It was part of the previous use of the wider site as a school. The application proposed the demolition and replacement of the existing, locally listed and within a Conservation Area building that was previously to have been converted. Both the existing permission and the new proposal included new buildings to the rear of the site. The existing permission had granted permission for 32 more independent units in the C2 Use Class, achieved by conversion, partial demolition, and new build. The new proposal had 47 apartments and 4 bungalows for older people. This was achieved by changing unit sizes and additional floor area. The changes were proposed to better reflect the evolving local market. The new units provide a greater variety of accommodation offering options and choice in the local area.

The proposal was a response to the changing world making the offering more sophisticated to meet local needs and improving the quality of the accommodation being provided. The development team were able to address difficult issues on heritage, parking, loss of green space and trees to a degree that allowed the Council to approve the proposals.

Both applicants had a talented and experienced team of consultants on numerous issues.  TKP’s experience and understanding of the issues, the benefits of the more sophisticated offerings, the reasons for the redesigns and how such uses function proved to be invaluable in progressing both applications to successful outcomes.