Case Study: Elderly accommodation, Stockport Borough Council

Background

Our client sought planning permission to build new accommodation for the elderly on the site of a former depot in Cheadle, Greater Manchester.

Challenge

  • The site was in a Conservation Area and adjacent to a historic building of local importance.  There was a concern locally that the proposed building was too big for the area.
  • There was a perception locally that the proposal would exacerbate traffic problems in Cheadle.
  • The local MP had written to the case officer drawing attention to her constituents’ anxieties regarding design and access issues.

Solution

  • Instructed just days before the planning committee date, our client asked us to draft a short briefing letter to committee members setting out the benefits of providing new homes for the elderly in Stockport borough.
  • We studied the officer’s report and our client’s Planning Statement and used this information to draft a concise two-page letter, explaining that the proposal would provide much-needed new elderly accommodation in a highly accessible location, bring family homes back onto the open market, reduce the burden on local Adult Social Care and NHS budgets, help to meet a need for Extra Care units in the borough, contribute to the council’s five-year housing land supply, and provide a sustainable alternative to long-term care in council care homes.
  • Once agreed with the client the letter was sent by email to planning committee members.  In the same email we sent members a copy of a letter our client had recently received from a local MP, congratulating them on the completion of a similar elderly accommodation scheme in Leeds.  This letter was invaluable in helping to back up our client’s case that the proposals were of a high quality and would make a positive contribution to Cheadle both visually and culturally.

Result

The planning application was consented in January 2017.

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