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Planning summit shapes housing for senior generation

Date posted: 06-03-2013

THURROCK Council met with developers on Friday (1 March) to talk about plans to create well designed housing for older people in the borough.

The high-level meeting – at Orsett Hall – saw representatives from more than 20 developers, including Wilmot Dixon, Lovells, Durkan and Countryside Properties as well as local organisations like Family Mosaic, Estuary and East Thames join the discussion.

The majority of new developments are built for single people and families, but the council is committed to deliver its ambitions for residents to age well, in homes and communities that support independence and good health in later years.

It is projected there will be 75 per cent more people aged over 85 in Thurrock in 20 years time and the council wants to work with developers now to plan for the future.

David Bull, the council’s Director of Planning and Transportation said: “This is an ambitious council and we want to support developers wherever we can to achieve our joint aim of building quality housing for older residents.

“We can help by sharing information about what our communities need; undertake market research on what local people say they want; give advice on design and planning issues; and help with consulting the community about development plans.”

And Barbara Brownlee, Director of Housing, added: “We are already working with developers to create spacious flats that have good natural daylight and views, are very accessible, and are well insulated and designed to create a sense of community.

“We know there are older people in Thurrock who live in family homes that may be too big, are difficult for them to heat and maintain, and no longer really suit their needs.”

Les Billingham, Head of Adult Services and the lead officer for the Building Positive Futures scheme at the council, said: “We want residents to consider moving to an attractive property that is specifically designed to fit their lifestyle, with easy access to facilities and transport.

“In this way we can lessen the impact of many of the health problems people associate with ageing, and enable older people to have active, outgoing lives where they can continue to make a contribution to their community.”

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