National Level Guidance for England

Planning Framework

The resources listed below provide an up-to-date account of planning guidance in England. We have also pulled out the relevant elements that relate to specialist housing for older people to help you navigate the key references to housing for older people. Please note that there is a different policy background in place for Wales (see our dedicated Housing LIN Cymru pages)

National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) along with the National Planning Practice Guidance sets the background at national level for development in England and replaces Planning Policy Statements (PPS) and Planning Policy Guidance (PPG). It contains a useful definition of older people within the glossary stating:

"People over retirement age, including the active, newly-retired through to the very frail elderly, whose housing needs can encompass accessible, adaptable general needs housing for those looking to downsize from family housing and the full range of retirement and specialised housing for those with support or care needs"

The main objective of the NPPF is to provide for sustainable development including meeting the needs of present and future generations. There is an emphasis on Local Plans being underpinned by evidence of local housing needs of different groups including older people and providing for the housing that they require.

National Planning Practice Guidance

Published in March 2014, and updated in March 2015, this supplements the NPPF and seeks to guide development on a number of more technical issues, expanding the overarching policies contained within the NPPF.

The importance of good design is included within the "Design" chapter and includes consideration of the improvements to the well-being of people through good design. This links with the chapters on "Health and Wellbeing". It is stated that the guidance should provide commissioners, providers and developers with the tools they need to engage with Local Planning Authorities to promote healthy communities and support appropriate health infrastructure.

Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England

The Housing Strategy for England (November 2011) also launched the "New Deal for older people's housing" demonstrating the government's commitment to encouraging new models of providing specialist housing for older people. It seeks to ensure that housing and planning policies reflect the need for a wide range of specialist housing solutions for the ageing population. "Good housing for older people can enable [older people] to live healthy, independent lives and reduces pressure on working families in caring for older relatives. It can also prevent costs to the NHS and Social Care. For some older people a move to a smaller, more accessible and manageable home can also free up much-needed local family housing." (Paragraph 27).