Councillor’s bungalow bid

Old Person gets a helping hand
Old Person gets a helping hand

KIRKLEES is facing a housing shortage for the elderly and disabled.

That’s according to a Heckmondwike councillor who has warned that there are not enough bungalows and adapted homes for the district’s aging population.

Coun Steve Hall (Lab) is appealing for more disabled and elderly-friendly properties to be built to meet demand after bungalows were left out of plans for homes in Batley.

At last week’s Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee meeting a development of 49 houses in Healey was approved by councillors.

The original developers agreed 18 months ago to include four bungalows on the site after a meeting with councillors including Coun Hall.

But the new developer’s plans were approved at Thursday’s meeting without the inclusion of the one-level properties.

He said: “We are short of properties suitable for the disabled and elderly.

“It’s far easier for them to live in accommodation such as bungalows.”

Coun Hall said Streetscene officers told him there was a shortfall in affordable accommodation in general across the Batley and Spen area, with an annual deficit of 1,457 homes.

He said: “We have an increasing population and will have a rise of 75 per cent in people over 85 by 2028 in the Batley and Spen area.

“As we have an aging population, some bungalows and two-storey flats would be of great use.”

A Kirklees spokesman said the council was adjusting policies to ensure people’s needs were met in the years to come, with an Excellent Homes for Life project delivering 140 new Extra Care homes for older people who needed additional levels of care, 10 homes for people with dementia and 35 homes adapted for wheelchair users.

He said: “We have also made changes to the proposed Core Housing Strategy which, if approved, will require anyone building a new housing development over 0.5 hectares in the district to include housing designed to meet older people’s needs.”