Tag Archives: ageing population

Waking up to an ageing population

By Kasia Banas, Consultant

January saw Chelgate Local kick off 2019 with another successful breakfast briefing event.

The Chelgate team partnered up with Barton Willmore to host a timely discussion on the impact of an ageing population on housing provision. Delegates from across Kent gathered to hear from speakers from MHCLG, planners Barton Willmore and older people’s housing developers McCarthy & Stone.

Dan Fryd, Account Director at Chelgate, welcomed the packed room and started proceedings by setting out the main issues around housing supply for our ageing population. He pointed out that in the midst of the housing crisis the topic rarely gets the attention it deserves, but the proportion of over 85-year olds is set to double over the next 25 years – making it necessary for the government and the housing sector to start planning for this particular housing need now.

Lucy Seymour-Bowdery, senior planning officer at MHCLG and the lead on older people’s housing, then presented the recent regulatory changes relating to provisions for an ageing population. She noted the revised NPPF strengthened the policy approach to planning for the housing needs of different groups of people; revised the definition of older people; and introduced the expectation that planning policies for housing will make use of Optional Technical Standards for accessible and adaptable housing.

She also mentioned the statutory duty to produce guidance for local planning authorities on how local development documents should meet the housing needs of older and disabled people​, introduced by the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017. While she was not able to provide a date for the release of new policy guidance, she teased that it will focus on the importance to plan for older and disabled people’s housing needs, benefits of accessible and adaptable housing​, types of specialist housing for older people​ and inclusive design.

James Donagh, development economics director at Barton Willmore​, then took to the stage to present a high-level review of supply and demand for specialist housing for older people across mid-west Kent. He outlined the population changes expected between 2017 and 2041, most notably, the fast-growing demographic groups of over 65s and 75s. He projects that this increased demand for specialist elderly housing will generate a need for an extra 5,300 units (45%) by 2029 and 10,500 units (90%) units by 2041. James pointed out that there is a lack of diversity in tenure and type of available units with two-thirds being social rent and four-fifths being sheltered housing. He concluded suitable housing for older people could be a part of the solution to the housing crisis.

The event finished with a panel discussion with Cllr Clive English, chair of the Planning Committee at Maidstone Borough Council​; Guy Flintoft, planning director at Retirement Villages Group​; Gary Day, land and planning director at McCarthy & Stone,; and chaired by Barton Willmore’s director, Simon Flisher.

There was a consensus amongst our panellists that there is a growing need for housing provision for older people in the UK and Kent specifically. The example of Japan was mentioned a number of times as a warning for what’s to come if this demand is not addressed. Gary Day encouraged new entrants into this market space, and there was agreement that existing providers must grow to help deliver new retirement communities. Innovative multi-generational housing models were also identified as an opportunity area that could contribute to solving the issue at hand.

Developers and politicians are not the only ones looking for sustainable solutions that meet the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities. Programmes such as ‘Transform Ageing’ are paving the way to taking a community and design-led approach to improve people’s experience of ageing and we hope they can drive positive change, responding to the challenge of our ageing society.

Our next event will take place in March and will address ‘Infrastructure led growth’ – A look at how Crossrail 2, HS2 and major infrastructure could drive growth. Further details will be available on our website.


old people

The impact of an ageing population

By Michael Hardware, Director of Planning and Property

Using excerpts from ‘Later Living: Are we planning for our future?’ published by Barton Willmore, we take a look at the changing profile of the later living population and what challenges and opportunities this poses for the market.  Barton Willmore’s full report can be viewed here.

The Government has been pushing hard to increase housebuilding and resolve the housing crisis. It wants to address the historic housing deficit and pent-up demand that has led to massive house price increases in recent decades. It has also introduced initiatives to encourage and assist the younger generations to get them on the housing ladder but has paid little attention to older generations which are in effect ‘bed blocking’ at the other end of the property chain.

As their children leave home and they reach retirement, older people look to downsize and release equity from their properties. According to the ONS Wealth and Assets Survey by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), the average older home-owning household has £200,000 of property wealth and the over 65s account for 39% of the total of all property wealth. This is likely to increase to 41% by 2036.

Looking at the 45-55 age group, who will enter the 65+ age bracket in the next two decades, the growth is at the lower end of the property wealth scale with assets expected to be at around £163,000 at retirement. Over the next 20 years, this group will increase tenfold, the equivalent to 4.5 million people aged between 45 and 65 entering the market with half the wealth of current retirees.

The housebuilding industry has a challenge on its hands: how does it facilitate mobility in this older group, enabling downsizing, or ‘right-sizing’, and freeing up much-needed family homes? The answer must be in providing more choice in the new homes to meet those needs.

Currently the later living property market is directed at the largest and most affluent group of people, the 2.9 million people over 65 who have property wealth of more than £300,000. This will need to change.

Huw Edwards, a Senior Partner at Barton Willmore, explained:

“The market needs to respond now to ensure that we are planning and building housing for older people that meets their changing needs and demands.

“This will not only provide the homes that are needed and wanted by our ageing population but also open up family housing to the market and directly address our housing crisis.

“To achieve this, there is a need for a more coordinated and thought-out approach to delivering homes that meets the diverse needs of older people.

“At the local level, this means evidence based strategic policies for older peoples housing, coordinated across planning authorities that fall within the same housing market areas.

“There is a real opportunity here to encourage diversification of the market, provide homes that older people want, and create a market that caters for the broad spectrum of needs and demands it encompasses.”

Chelgate and Barton Willmore are co-hosting a seminar this month looking at the impact of an aging population on housing provision. The keynote speaker will be Lucy Seymour-Bowdery from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, who will outline the new policy and guidance to be issued by the ministry which she has written. She will be joined by speakers from planners Barton Willmore, Maidstone Borough Council, McCarthy & Stone and Retirement Villages Group. Further information can be found here.

Planning news, views and insight – January 2019

In our first edition of 2019: Housing an ageing population, modular houses, bank of mum and dad, movers stick close to home, and breakfast briefing debrief

    • Hesitant home movers stick to what they know
      Half of home movers move less than 10 miles, and we are moving half as often as we did 30 years ago, new research shows… Read more
    • Breakfast Briefing recap – County councils in the spotlight
      Chelgate Local’s latest breakfast briefing went with a bang last month, as keen delegates braved a miserable rainy morning… Read more
    • Why building modular homes is the Housing Minister’s new year’s resolution
      Whatever your new year’s resolutions are, they are probably not as ambitious as Kit Malthouse’s… Read more
    • Cashing in on the Bank of Mum and Dad
      Young people whose parents have property wealth are now almost three times as likely to be homeowners by the age of 30… Read more

Local Plan updates

Chelgate Local brings you Local Plan updates for Aylesbury Vale, Basildon, Brentwood, Central Beds, Chelmsford, Chiltern and South Bucks, Dacorum, East Herts, Epping, Epsom and Ewell, Harlow, Medway, Milton Keynes, Mole Valley and many more…

Chelgate Local invites you to our January Breakfast Briefing in Maidstone, Kent

Our breakfast briefing in January is on the impact of an ageing population on housing provision.

We have a keynote speaker from MHCLG to explain the latest guidance and policies.

You will also hear from planning consultants, local politicians and developers on their views about housing provision and the impact of an increasingly ageing population.

Come along on 22nd January, 8-10am at the Macure Maidstone Great Dane Hotel. Click here to register.