New government planning policies to provide housing for older people helped to see plans for a dementia care home in Climping approved.
Planning inspector Robert Parker backed the 64-bedroom scheme on land behind Baird’s farm shop.
His recent decision follows an informal hearing two months ago into an appeal by Brackley Investments after Arun District Council rejected the plans.
In his decision notice, Mr Parker said national guidelines made the case for such developments to go ahead regardless of Arun District Council’s land use policies in its local plan.
“Since the adoption of the Arun local plan, the government has published new planning practice guidance which makes clear that the need to provide housing for older people is critical. Plan-making authorities are expected to set clear policies to address the housing needs of older people.
“The guidance states that where there is an identified unmet need for specialist housing (and dementia care falls into this category), local authorities should take a positive approach to schemes that proposed to address this need.”
Evidence given to Mr Parker at the hearing showed the Arun district has a rapidly ageing population. By 2021, it is estimated there will be an unmet need of 286 dementia care bedspaces within the district and 132 within two-and-a-half miles of the home’s site in Crookhorn Lane, he said.
“It is projected that Arun will experience the largest rise in demand in West Sussex across all care types.
“The council accepts the advice of its consultee and conceded at the hearing that there is a ‘big need’ for dementia care facilities,” said Mr Parker.
Arun refused planning approval for the scheme in November, 2018. Its reasons included worries about the effect on the countryside gap between Littlehampton and Middleton, doubts about the site’s suitability and its effect on the appearance of the area.