Land west of New Road and Land north of Ketts Oak, Hethersett

Welcome to our consultation for an older person care village across two sites in Hethersett.

This consultation has now closed

This public consultation is seeking the views of the community on proposals on land west of New Road and land north of Ketts Oak for a new care village to address pressing, otherwise unmet, local need for this form of accommodation. The care village will comprise a care home and independent living accommodation.

The proposals presented within this consultation are in draft form and are subject to refinement following the completion of a number of technical environmental assessments which are underway, building upon much work already undertaken. 

The proposals are being displayed on behalf of a Norfolk-based strategic land promoter, Glavenhill Limited, who propose to make an outline planning application for the proposed development later in the winter. 

Glavenhill wish to hear the views of the local community before they finalise the plans.

The sites comprise circa 5.15 hectares (12.7 acres) of agricultural land across two land parcels; one to the east which sits west of New Road, and one to the west which sits north of Ketts Oak.

The western land parcel is bound to the north west by a strong hedge line, to the south west by a further hedge with agricultural properties and land beyond, to the south east by residential dwellings accessed from the B1172 and to the north east by arable land that separates the site from the eastern land parcel.

The proposed access into the site is just 250m form the nearest bus stop located on Ketts Oak, which provides half hourly services to Norwich City Centre and to Wymondham in the opposite direction. A second bus stop, also 250m from the site, located on New Road, provides a direct, two hourly service to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. This bus stop also provides half hourly services to Hethersett’s shopping centre including the local doctors’ surgery, butchers shop and a Tesco Express. Being only 1,500m away it is a short journey, alternatively easily accessed via continuous footways.

The eastern land parcel is bound by a wide grass verge and mature four-metre-high hedge along most of its frontage with the B1172. There is a pavement on both sides of the B1172. The boundary to New Road comprises 1.5-metre high mature hedging interspersed with individual oak trees. There is an existing pavement along the north east side of New Road and bus stops either side of the road with services to Norwich and Wymondham.

Access into the site would be from New Road which is within easy travel distance of the shops and services within the village as well as wider afield: the bus stop located on Ketts Oak provides half hourly services to Norwich City Centre and to Wymondham in the opposite direction.

Both land parcels are located outside albeit immediately adjacent to the settlement limit of Hethersett, as shown on the Council’s Local Plan Proposals Map. Both sites are located within the designated Strategic Gap between the settlements of Hethersett and Wymondham.

The sites are located in Flood Zone 1, as defined on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning, and are at limited risk of flooding. The sites are not located in a designated Conservation Area and there are no Listed Buildings or Scheduled Monuments on the site or immediately adjacent. There are, however, 36 Grade 2 Listed Buildings and three Grade 2* Listed Buildings located within 2km of the site. The site is not subject to any statutory ecological designations.

Care Home

Sustainable Communities Partnership Limited carried out an assessment of the need for care homes and independent living accommodation for elderly people in South Norfolk and Hethersett in February 2018. Whilst the report is now three years old, its conclusions remain relevant and given the progression of time and the trends in a growing elderly population and the lack of any additional care provision within Hethersett since its writing, these conclusions are likely to be conservative in nature.

In summary, the report confirms that as of 2018 there were an estimated 31,700 older people living within the South Norfolk District area, of which 4,200 were understood to be over the age of 85. Within a three-mile radius of the proposal sites there were a total of 568 available care home places providing nursing and social care for older people. The numbers of available places only increases once the search has been widened to between a three and five mile radius and has reached the outskirts of the city of Norwich. Competition for these places, however, was and remains high as the demand from people living in Norwich itself was and remains significant.

Given the projected increases in the number of older people within the South Norfolk area, the pressures already placed on local health and social care services and the expectations of older people themselves for a more independent and dignified older age, means that the existing provision will not meet the future needs of older people in this area.

The Needs Case for Extra Care

Norfolk County Council’s Living Well Homes for Norfolk have provided information on the extra care needs for Norfolk within their Planning Position Statement, dated October 2020.

In their Statement, the County Council describe extra care accommodation as self-contained residential accommodation and associated facilities, designed and managed to meet the needs and aspirations of older people. The residents are required to have a minimum age of 55 years with a planned care and supported need, usually minimum four hours a week. The schemes also provide 24-hour access to on-site staff for emergency support of unplanned needs.

This need is not currently reflected in the Council’s development plan strategy and requires an informed and justified divergence from it as is suggested by the scheme being proposed within this planning submission.

Alongside the above, it is important to acknowledge that with a sustained increase in demand for traditional care services, there is also an increased need for alternative models of housing which provide dedicated care and support for those people who want to retain their independence away from a care home environment.

The provision of independent, extra care bungalows to older people means that those who can live independent lives are enabled and supported to do so, leaving care home places for those with greater and often more complex needs.

In October 2018, Norfolk County Council’s Committee approved a capital fund of £30m to facilitate the development of extra care housing in Norfolk. The County Council recognised the need to increase both the range and volume of housing options for older people and is committed to helping older people live independently for as long as possible.

Norfolk County Council recognises the value that extra care housing would bring to Norfolk and is committed to increasing housing options for older people and enabling access for people with low care needs. This ensures that there is provision for couples and an understanding of the need for mix tenure options in schemes for those who may be able to rent privately or purchase.

The Council’s planning policies do not allocate sites for care facilities. However, the adopted and emerging policies are supportive of the principle of specialist housing such as care facilities and retirement communities, and explicitly state that provision should be made based on the most up-to-date evidence. Compliance with Norfolk County Council’s criteria will also be an important consideration.

It is evident that independence and choice play a vital part in the well-being of older people and therefore the provision of extra care bungalows as part of the range of options available for older people is now considered by many to be essential in meeting a growing need for a pressured demographic.

The population in Norfolk is increasing, particularly in the older age groups. This means there is greater demand for accessible housing and neighbourhoods designed to maximise the quality of life of all residents, including those with physical disabilities, sensory need or dementia. Increasing both the range and number of housing options for older people is a key part of helping people to live independently for longer.

In response to the above documentation and pressing local needs, the proposed development will provide:

  • A purpose-designed care village, including a care home, located within beneficially and appropriately landscaped grounds.
  • A community of extra care bungalows alongside a communal ‘hub’ from which a daily events programme, including a wide range of activities including dinners, cinema evenings, quiz nights, bingo, and coffee mornings.
  • The eastern land parcel, west of New Road, will deliver age-restricted bungalows built to a high tech Lifetime Homes standard, together with boundary landscaping and publicly accessible open space.

The planning application for the proposed development will be submitted in outline form with only the principle of the proposed development and the access points into the site submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval. The appearance of the proposed buildings and landscape areas will be submitted at a later stage and as part of subsequent reserved matters applications.

An illustrative masterplan is to be included as part of the outline planning application. This will show a potential form of the development. Much care will be taken to ensure that the proposed development does not erode or otherwise undermine the openness of the Strategic Gap, and this has formed an integral part of the ‘constraints-led’ approach to the proposals. Possible effects on the Strategic Gap will be duly considered in the Landscape and Visual Assessment (LVA) and other documentation which will form the application, although it is considered that its integrity has been maintained. Studies prepared by Chris Blandford Associates on behalf of the District Council, and which comprise part of the Evidence Base to its planning policies, have been duly considered.   

The plan below shows the location of the proposed access points, the areas where the buildings may be located and areas for new landscaping. This plan will be refined to take account of the recommendations of a number technical environmental assessments which are currently underway.

The application is supported by and have been developed in response to the requirements of, a prospective care home operator.

The prospective operator currently operates a successful care village at Carlton Hall, Lowestoft and considers the proposal site to provide a unique opportunity to address local needs for elderly person accommodation and deliver purpose built sensitively designed accommodation within new landscape grounds and habitat improvement areas.

In response to the above documentation and pressing local needs, the proposed development will provide:

  • A purpose-designed care village, including a care home, located within beneficially and appropriately landscaped grounds.
  • A community of extra care bungalows alongside a communal ‘hub’ from which a daily events programme, including a wide range of activities including dinners, cinema evenings, quiz nights, bingo, and coffee mornings.
  • The eastern land parcel, west of New Road, will deliver age-restricted bungalows built to a high tech Lifetime Homes standard, together with boundary landscaping and publicly accessible open space.

The planning application for the proposed development will be submitted in outline form with only the principle of the proposed development and the access points into the site submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval. The appearance of the proposed buildings and landscape areas will be submitted at a later stage and as part of subsequent reserved matters applications.

An illustrative masterplan is to be included as part of the outline planning application. This will show a potential form of the development. Much care will be taken to ensure that the proposed development does not erode or otherwise undermine the openness of the Strategic Gap, and this has formed an integral part of the ‘constraints-led’ approach to the proposals. Possible effects on the Strategic Gap will be duly considered in the Landscape and Visual Assessment (LVA) and other documentation which will form the application, although it is considered that its integrity has been maintained. Studies prepared by Chris Blandford Associates on behalf of the District Council, and which comprise part of the Evidence Base to its planning policies, have been duly considered.   

The plan below shows the location of the proposed access points, the areas where the buildings may be located and areas for new landscaping. This plan will be refined to take account of the recommendations of a number technical environmental assessments which are currently underway.

The application is supported by and have been developed in response to the requirements of, a prospective care home operator.

The prospective operator currently operates a successful care village at Carlton Hall, Lowestoft and considers the proposal site to provide a unique opportunity to address local needs for elderly person accommodation and deliver purpose built sensitively designed accommodation within new landscape grounds and habitat improvement areas.

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