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HS8  Nursing Homes/ Residential Care Homes  Policy

Proposals for the development of new residential care or nursing homes, or the conversion of existing buildings to provide residential care or nursing homes will be permitted, subject to the proposal fulfilling all the following criteria:

(i) the proposal being of a scale which relates well to surrounding property;

(ii) the proposal not resulting in an over-concentration of residential care or nursing homes in the area;

(iii) the proposal not resulting in a private dwelling having a residential care or nursing home on both sides; and

(iv) the proposal otherwise complying with Policy HS4 and Policy HS5.

All consents shall be given subject to a condition that they should be implemented within a three year period.

Reasoned justification :

6.47 Following the growth in the number of sheltered housing schemes in Wirral in the 1980's, there has been a large increase in the number of residential care and nursing homes in the Borough, which fall within Class C2 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. In part, this reflects the increasing numbers of very elderly people who require closer care than would be possible were they to remain in their own homes.

6.48 In addition to care homes for the elderly, with Government policies on care in the community, there will continue to be demand for specialist care homes, for example for people with learning difficulties and for those released from hospitals following treatment for mental illness and drug dependency. It is Government policy for such accommodation to be well integrated in the local community.

6.49 This, however, can cause concern where a significant number of such homes are grouped together, or proposals come forward for the conversion of small, modern dwellings.

6.50 Whilst the locational requirements for residential care homes - level sites with good access to shops, community facilities and public transport - may be similar to those for sheltered housing, the diversity in the purpose and facilities provided by homes means that some may appropriately be sited in more rural or isolated locations.

6.51 To control the concentration of residential care and nursing homes in specific areas of the Borough, Policy HS8 places a time limit of three years on unimplemented permissions. Further guidance on sheltered housing and residential care homes is contained in Supplementary Planning Guidance Note 9