A number of major care home operators are looking for land in the South West suitable to build much-needed accommodation for the region’s elderly, according to CJH Land, one the region’s most experienced land agents. A growing demand from an ageing population combined with increasing access to finance for such schemes and encouragement from local government has given a significant boost to the sector.
CJH Land director Matthew Hiles said: “A few years ago all we heard about was care homes closing as they were finding it difficult to keep up with the new legislation, which meant that older buildings needed major refurbishment which was often not economical. “We are now seeing a completely new model from the sector where they are constructing purpose built nursing homes & care facilities in the appropriate locations. It would appear that the most viable model is a care home of around 60-bedrooms, which also has some independent living accommodation, sheltered housing or warden patrolled apartments nearby.
“These purpose-built developments are designed to meet all the criteria we expect in modern living accommodation and are far better environments for those who live in them and so much more efficient to maintain and run than the old-style converted Manor House type nursing home. “As we are seeing our demographics change and an increasing population at pensionable age the demand for high quality care providing everything from Wi-Fi to fitness & leisure facilities, restaurants and shops, doctors surgeries and hair salons . These are not only the type of developments that we are seeing provided but that are now expected. “Banks and financial institutions are lending more readily on such projects and local authorities have to find a solution to the ageing population within their districts and are more mindful to take a positive view on such planning applications.”
CJH Land is acting for a number of land owners and care home operators in the region, who are working on care schemes. Care home operators are looking for suitable land that is close to existing facilities, shops and local amenities. Matthew Hiles said “Within the majority of planning applications for larger housing developments there is now part of the site which is often allocated for a nursing home or extra care accommodation or potentially both as local authorities and developers look to meet the demands of this growing market sector”.