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Creating new age-appropriate housing and housing with care isn't just about

building new sites but it can also involve adapting existing buildings. We therefore

also agree with Demos about extending the measures that were introduced in

2013 to relax change of use regulations around converting offices to housing,

in order to allow various types of buildings to be converted into housing with

care models more easily. This would be aided by the implementation of a

dedicated planning designation - in the jargon use class - covering all housing

with care which would help providers offer more flexible, innovative and multi-use


Moreover we strongly believe that the planning system should encourage the

development of more age-appropriate housing from the bottom up, and that

neighbourhood plans could be an immensely powerful mechanism for achieving

this. Introduced in the Localism Act 2011, neighbourhood plans allow local people

to get directly involved in determining the quantity and type of development

that their community needs. Currently there are more than 1500 communities

engaging in the process of producing neighbourhood plans, with more than 30

having 'gone live' after having been approved in local referendums . We are

confident that neighbourhood plans are an ideal vehicle for using the planning

policy changes described above to exercise a positive influence over the planning

regime in local areas and push the case for more housing with care. For example,

it seems likely that in many areas local people would seize the opportunity to

ensure that there is suitable housing with care in their community for their elderly

relatives. This would be boosted if planning categories were changed to create a

dedicated use class covering all housing with care and if change of use measures

were relaxed.

Recommendation: Local plans should be co-produced with care

commissioners and those responsible from drafting local Join

Strategic Needs Assessments. Change of use measures should

also be extended to allow more buildings to be converted into

housing with care models. Finally neighbourhood plans should be

promoted as a way to ensure that local demand for housing with

care is satisfied.

Impact: This would:

• Ensure that need for care is covered in the planning system and land is put


• Make it easier to convert existing buildings into age-appropriate housing.

• Allow communities to have a greater say in the provision of age-appropriate

housing from the bottom up.

4.12 A more sustainable care workforce?

With the increasing emphasis on high quality 'basic care' - not just for the sake

of the patient, but with poor care costing the NHS £2.5 billion a year132 - on the

back of the Cavendish Review, the Government plans to introduce a new 'Care

Certificate' from April 2015. This hopes to give greater confidence that Health

Care Assistants and social care support workers will have "the required values,

behaviours, competences and skills to provide high quality, compassionate

care."133 The 'Care Certificate' - as a central quality assurance mechanism -

would also help carers by allowing them to take their qualifications from one

employer to the next.

Given the challenging nature of work, low pay and high staff turnover care

providers should ensure that their care workforce have the right support structures

131 Demos, Commission on

residential care (2014)

132 Department of Health, "Good

care costs less" (16 October


133 Skills for Care, Care Certificate

(accessed November 2014)


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