'Improving accessibility is of critical importance' - South Cambs MP Heidi Allen tables amendment to government bill to improve housing for disabled and elderly people
PUBLISHED: 10:30 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:36 13 December 2016
The MP for South Cambs has tabled an amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill which will be debated in the House of Commons today.
Heidi Allen’s amendment would require local planning authorities to consider the needs of elderly and disabled people when identifying strategic priorities for the development and use of their land.
Mrs Allen believes her amendment would support policy guidance on new developments currently outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework and also support the Government’s commitment to halving the disability employment gap through more independent living.
The said amendment would reduce the pressure on the social care sector and NHS by providing more suitable accommodation for elderly people, keeping them safe in their homes for longer.
A number of national charities have supported Mrs Allen’s work including Papworth Trust, Age UK, Sense, Scope, National Autistic Society, Royal Mencap Society, Disability Rights UK and the Town and Country Planning Association.
“I have been a passionate supporter of ensuring equality for people with disabilities since being elected,” Conservative Mrs Allen said.
“I have listened carefully to the needs expressed by my constituents and charities and I firmly believe this amendment would help people live independently.
“I am proud my amendment has received cross-party support as it demonstrates it is an issue affecting many throughout the UK. Improving the accessibility of housing is of critical importance not just for the disabled community but also our aging population.
Planning requirements for new developments in London require 90 per cent of new homes to be accessible and 10 per cent wheelchair friendly. It would be an enormous step forward if we could replicate this across the whole country.”