Our statement in response to media attention regarding the planning application at the ‘Homebase’ site in Walton-on-Thames:
Statement from Elmbridge Borough Council
"Application 2020/0832 for 222 units of care accommodation with associated communal facilities was unanimously refused by the Planning Committee on 20 October 2020. You can watch a recording of the meeting and the agenda, including the officer’s report and minutes are available to view.
"We recognise the importance of our responsibilities under the 2010 Equality Act and we are confident that our report does not discriminate either directly or indirectly on the grounds of age. It does not discriminate towards the people who might occupy the accommodation, but is an assessment of the merits of the scheme considered against the National Planning Policy Framework and our own adopted planning policies and other material considerations.
"The conclusion that care accommodation is unacceptable should not be viewed in isolation, it is a summation of the detailed analysis of the local need for this type of accommodation, including the concentrated supply in Walton town centre, compared with other much needed accommodation such as one and two bedroom homes for families, as well as the failure to consider alternative mixed use schemes including different types of housing and retail / entertainment units.
"No one can deny that Elmbridge works hard not only support older people in our community but to help them thrive. We have seven Centres for the Community around the borough, each catering for the needs of our older people and running classes and support sessions on a range of subjects from ipad lessons to Zumba classes and everything in between. Our community transport provides an essential life line for our older residents and allows them access to shops and entertainment in the borough. It is the aim of this council and the countless volunteers who support us, to ensure older people lead happy, active and healthy lives in Elmbridge."
Updated: 6 November 2020