New generation of bungalows could be set for Westcountry
A new generation of bungalows could be built in the Westcounty following the launch of plans to overhaul planning guidelines to provide bespoke homes for an ageing population.
The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, is set to publish rules on Wednesday which would enforce councils to draw up age profiles for the area based on Census data.
Planners would have to ensure there were enough properties of the right type - including bungalows that would be made available only to older people.
Once popular in the 1950s and 1960s, bungalow building slowed in the 1980s and accounted for only 2% of planned new builds last year.
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Nick Boles, the Planning Minister, said pensioners wanted to move into bungalows, which can be easily adapted as they grow infirm.
“We must build more homes or suitable accommodation for older people if we are to avoid problems further down the track.
“We’re all living longer and there will be a big rise in the number of older people in future years. Making sure councils plan for this, and for enough suitable homes like bungalows in their area, will help ensure the ageing population can live in the places that they want and enjoy their retirement.”
Britain’s population is ageing with according to 2011 Census data more than a quarter of a million people in the Westcountry aged 65 or over out of a total population in of 1,278.700.
The regulations on bungalows will be introduced as part of the Government’s national planning guidance.
The document will include plans to remove council tax premiums on family annexes and allow bigger extensions without planning permission.
Current planning rules make it unattractive for developers to build one-story properties over detached family homes or multi-storey apartments.
Richard Copus, director of South Devon-based Wood's Estate Agents, and spokesman for the National Association of Estate Agents in the South West, said it was less attractive financially too.
He said: “It’s an interesting one this. In the late 1950s and 1960s there was a surplus of bungalows built. The people that speak to me don’t generally want bungalows but they haven’t built any for years, it’s a very good idea. I think we have got to be careful. It’s a good idea to include them in the mix, alongside affordable housing.”
Only 300 bungalows were built in 2009 and last year builders registered plans to construct 1,700 bungalows with the National House Building Council, with many not yet built.