The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), the main body representing the Retirement Community Sector in the UK, has responded to the latest National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Executive Director Michael Voges said:
“The NPPF is right to recognise the need for a sufficient supply of housing for older people, especially for those seeking specialised housing with access to care.
“But more work needs to be done, including clear guidance for councils to make provision for the different needs of older people. Without this there is a risk of the NPPF becoming a blunt instrument which fails to make a difference to planning decisions.
“We also need to see a more explicit statement that C2 use classes include genuine housing with care developments.
“We will continue to work with MHCLG and local authorities to help secure the future supply of Retirement Community housing that the UK’s ageing population needs.”
National Planning Policy Framework
The revised National Planning Policy Framework was published 24/07/2018 and can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/governments-new-planning-rulebook-to-deliver-more-quality-well-designed-homes
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ARCO was founded in 2012 and currently has 29 members, consisting of both private and not-for-profit operators of retirement communities also sometimes referred to as retirement villages, extra care housing, assisted living, close care apartments, or independent living apartments. Together they operate around 350 retirement communities, serving over 30,000 older people in the UK. There are also over 60 organisations affiliated to ARCO including ARCO Affiliate Network Subscribers, Premier Partners and members of the ARCO Accelerator Programme.
Retirement communities are designed to support people as they age. They typically consist of individual one or two-bedroom self-contained apartments, located in a community or block of similar properties. Residents have access to a range of services and facilities. These will usually include on-site care provision for use as and when it is needed, 24-hour staffing, and dining and leisure facilities, and may also include facilities such as GP surgeries, gyms and craft rooms.