South Ribble urged to allow more retirement housing to allow over-55s to downsize

A retirement community of up to 10 bungalows is being planned for the outskirts of Penwortham to help address an acute shortage of homes for the over-55s in South Ribble.

A developer wants to build the houses on Long Moss Lane in Whitestake to plug a gap in the property market which is said to be preventing older people from downsizing and thus freeing up family homes in the borough.

A planning consultancy acting on behalf of the landowner says there is a urgent need for retirement properties in the area as the percentage of elderly residents is increasing.

"The proposal is to develop a small retirement community of a maximum of 10 one and two bedroom bungalows," says a report submitted to the council by Rural Regeneration.

The site next to The Fields where a developer wants to build 10 bungalows.

"A Housing for the Elderly charity report has shown that South Ribble Borough Council has a shortage of this type of development.

"The units will either be developed by the applicant and rented or sold, alternatively the site could be operated by South Ribble Borough Council."

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The report highlights a growing requirement for retirement accommodation in South Ribble and says the council needs to be "more flexible in their treatment of retirement housing."

The district has more than 23,000 residents currently receiving the state pension. And Rural Regeneration claims that by 2043 the over-65 population in South Ribble is projected to reach 31,625.

"It has been well documented over recent years that people are living longer and that the older age-groups will record some dramatic increases over future years, with associated financial implications and demand for health and social care services," says the report.

"This proposal offers a unique community setting which will provide small one and two bedroom bungalows to people wanting to downsize and release their homes to future generations.

"The added benefit of this development is that we propose energy efficient homes obtaining passive house levels which during the current climate of energy price increase and uncertainty the occupiers will be safeguarded by the knowledge that the properties are a efficient as possible."

The development is planned for land to the side and behind the house The Fields.

The site has been the subject of previous planning applications for 40, 27 and 25 homes, all of which were refused by the council.