It is essential when building new developments that we genuinely look to create truly linked up communities. This entails a mixture of not just types of housing, but also types of tenure. This would include housing for first time renters. These properties would always only be for rent so that the stock would not be lost over time, it would always be available for generations coming through.
There should also be modern fully future proofed housing for the over 65’s and for people who are looking to downsize. This not only provides housing which is suitable for people to live in for longer as they get more infirm but also smart housing means people don’t need to leave their home for longer if at all. This type of housing would be linked with extra care facilities and care home provision to ease the burden on social care resources. In this way with our aging population making up a significant part of the community going forward we are planning ahead rather than relying on purely residential care.
We also have to include family housing for both sale and rent. Once again it is important to ensure that there is family housing available for rent on a permanent basis as there will be an element for many diverse reasons who don’t want to buy but need to rent. This could be families who are moving to an area for a short to medium term and don’t want to buy or just because they cannot afford to buy. It is essential as with the first time renter stock that this stock is always kept available so when people want to buy a home, they move on to the next tenure of housing.
The other most important factor when building new communities is to make sure that the social infrastructure is planned in conjunction with the housing and not tacked on as an afterthought. It is essential that education such as primary and secondary schools are included in the planning process. Adequate healthcare must also be factored in this would include the provision of a new doctor’s surgery and possibly a health centre. Potentially, the most important element of all would be the community assets such as a mixed space which could combine a library facility with work space for small businesses and a mother and baby centre in addition to quiet spaces traditionally found in libraries. If designed with thought, this facility could also include small meeting rooms for the use of small businesses as well as flexible space for after school clubs and adult clubs as well. This would all be linked with suitable food and drink capabilities.