FAQs


Questions about the service

What is Supported Independent Living and how does it help people?

An individual is provided with accommodation and support. The individual has a tenancy agreement, so they have the right to remain in their home and change their support provider if they wish. Supported Independent living can be delivered in self-contained accommodation e.g. 1 or 2 bed flats or shared accommodation. Individuals have a greater degree of choice and control over their lives than in residential care and individuals living in Supported Independent Living are perfectly able to thrive living in the community with the right support.

Why is new Supported Independent Living accommodation needed?

SCC Adult Social Care (ASC) has identified the Borough of Reigate and Banstead as an area of need for affordable provision of Supported Independent Living, with total demand 2021-2026 estimated to be 76-100 units.  SCC data shows that some people with a learning disability and/or autism, currently in residential care, may be suitable to move into supported independent living. There are also young people coming through Transition to ASC who will require accommodation in the short to medium term.

How will the residents’ needs be supported

SCC will commission care and support for each individual and this will include: 

  • Support – help to understand and maintain their tenancies, complete household tasks, look after their home, maintain and make use of external space for recreation and social activities 
  • Care – help with personal care and medication, to engage in activities, to link with the community and to secure employment as appropriate.

Does Supported Independent Living work well for people?

Supported Independent living works well for many people. Surrey’s existing supported independent living provision has provided accommodation with care and support for many people with learning disabilities over a number of years, enabling them to live as active members of their local communities.
There are some challenges with our existing accommodation:
• high demand for self-contained flats which aren’t always readily available
• older properties cannot accommodate changes to residents’ care and support needs over time e.g. wheelchair accessibility, lifts
• changing resident expectations and the need for facilities that maintain privacy and dignity e.g. ensuite bath/shower rooms.

Is similar specialist accommodation available across Surrey?

Housing and Care Providers have delivered some Supported Independent Living schemes in other parts of Surrey. The independent sector is also undertaking developments to supplement existing provision. However, there is still insufficient accommodation to meet demand and to achieve SCC’s large-scale ambitions for accommodation with care; therefore with this development SCC seeks to re-purpose and re-develop an SCC-owned site.

I have a learning disability and have eligible care and support needs/I am the carer of such an individual. I am interested in finding out more about the accommodation and how to express an interest in living here. How do I go about this?

Individuals who have eligible care and support needs and who have an interest in the accommodation should, in the first instance, make contact with the Learning Disability Team or their allocated Care Practitioner. Interest can then be noted and further conversations can be had as the development progresses.

Questions about the future residents

Who is the housing for?

The accommodation is intended for adults with a learning disability and/or autism. Some people may also have a physical disability, sensory impairment or mental health needs. All potential residents will be assessed to confirm their suitability for Supported Independent Living and to ensure that their care and support needs can be met.

How many people will live at this development?

Up to 16 residents, in one 2-storey apartment block of six 1-bedroom self-contained flats and two 5-bedroom, 3-storey townhouses.

Will these homes be limited to Surrey residents?

Yes - individuals living in the properties will be required to have eligible care and support needs and be eligible for funding from SCC – so all will be deemed to reside in Surrey or have the right to reside in Surrey. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that individuals will have a connection to the local district/borough area. Whilst SCC will consider local connections and as far as possible support people to remain in their communities, the primary consideration will centre around offering accommodation that meets the needs of the individual - and this might not always be within their home town / borough.

How long will people live in the accommodation?

It is intended that the accommodation is for ‘long term’ settled housing. The buildings have been designed to be adaptable (e.g. as people get older or less able) so that residents don’t have to move out if their needs change. Alternatively it may be a stepping stone (for instance, younger people who begin on a shared living basis and subsequently move into self-contained accommodation). 

Will the residents create lots of noise and how will this be mitigated?

Some people with a learning disability and/or autism may express themselves and/or communicate in ways that can be noisy. The proposed developments have been designed with this in mind. All the buildings have additional sound insulation. Each building has extensive landscaped grounds, deliberately designed to offer residents private outdoor space. Screen planting and fencing will be used to create ‘buffer’ zones which will help to maintain privacy and lower noise levels experienced both by the residents and their neighbours.

Will any of the residents pose a risk/danger to neighbours (e.g. children)?

No. The scheme is not intended to house people with forensic needs or people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system. The schemes are designed for adults with a learning disability and/or autism and who may currently live in a residential care home/college or with family. The service is being designed to enable people with a learning disability/autism to live independently, play a more active and confident role in their communities and remain safe and healthy. Individuals will be matched to schemes and, as part of this process Surrey’s Adult Social Care team will undertake relevant and robust assessments of suitability and risk. Each resident will have a personalised care/support package – designed to enable them to live as independently as possible in a safe manner, including mechanisms by which any challenging behaviours can be managed if required. These measures will also ensure the safety of the wider community.

Will the residents increase the pressure on local GP surgeries / health facilities?

There may be additional demands on local health services  which SCC’s Adult Social Care team are working to address, in partnership with primary healthcare colleagues at Surrey Heartlands CCG.

Questions about the site

Why was this location chosen? 

This location matched SCC’s key criteria for Supported Independent Living:  
• Within walking distance of amenities (shops, community facilities and health services)
• Good access to transport (bus routes, rail stations) for residents and staff
• Within an existing community (urban/suburban residential neighbourhood)

Will the buildings increase flood risks?

No. A flood risk assessment has been carried out and the landscaping has been designed to include a Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SUDS) which, with the increase in planting, will mitigate against any flooding risk.

Will this overlook my property?

No – the properties have deliberately been set out in a manner such that no neighbouring homes in Kings Road are overlooked.

What will happen to the wildlife currently on the site?

Detailed ecological studies have been undertaken. Plans are in hand to protect endangered species during construction including safe relocation on site if required; and landscaping/planting has been designed to increase biodiversity after completion, including enhancing the habitat for local wildlife.

Questions about the building design

What has the design been based on?

SCC have engaged with users of services, their carers, and professionals including Occupational Therapists and Registered Care Providers. SCC has also spoken with other authorities who have developed schemes recently e.g. Oxfordshire County Council. This engagement has been fundamental and has helped shape the internal and external designs/layouts. Research undertaken by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (HousingLIN) and the Department of Health has informed the design, as has guidance from Mencap, Kingwood Trust, the Care Quality Commission and the new National Disability Strategy published in 2021. Key factors considered include: accessibility; space requirements; aesthetics – a domestic, non-institutional environment; use of light and sensory requirements. Landscape and building designers have also had to factor in existing site characteristics and constraints e.g. position of access, trees, slopes and existing wildlife.

Will all the residences be wheelchair accessible?

Yes – all accommodation has been designed to meet the Building Regulations M4(2) standard for accessible, adaptable dwellings, which replaced the Lifetime Homes Standard. In addition two of the flats and all townhouse accommodation has been designed to achieve the Building Regulations M4(3) standard for wheelchair users.

Will the building be secure?  / How will the building be secured?

The development will follow Secured by Design principles for new homes with enhancements to suit the specific needs of the residents, e.g. access controls, external security lighting and a video entry system.

How much parking will there be / Where will visitors park?

The car parking is a bespoke provision to meet the needs of the specific residents, staff and visitors. Six spaces will be provided for residents and staff plus one bookable, accessible visitor’s parking bay. There will also be two accessible pick-up/drop-off bays located in front of the townhouses.

Will there be electric vehicle charging points?

All parking bays will have electric charging points providing a 100% supply to meet existing and future demand.

Will there be floodlights?

No - the external lighting has been designed to illuminate at low level to encourage wildlife etc. whilst still maintaining safety for the residents.

Questions about staffing

How many staff will be employed at the site?

This would be largely dependent on the needs of the residents. It’s likely that there will be some element of 24hr support within each of the sets of accommodation with care workers attending at key times of day.

Will there be onsite carers?

There will be care workers on site, but not on a “living in” basis. Each resident will have their own individual care and support needs and a care package will be tailored to meet those needs. It is not possible, at this stage, to be precise as to rotas, shift patterns and attendance as this will depend on the exact needs of the individuals; and of course these are likely to change over time. In any event, the nature of the services is such that, potentially, one or more care workers will provide overnight cover.

Will carers come and go at all hours of the day and night?

Care workers will attend as needed to fulfil individual residents’ support plans. Activity is likely to be greater during the day. There will be peak times for activity, e.g. personal care and breakfast in the morning and dinner and personal care in the evening – but these peak activity periods are less likely to coincide with the school run, for example. Residents will also be out and about, participating in leisure activities and potentially employment, just like any other member of the community. 

At night activity will be limited and care workers providing night cover will ordinarily remain on site 10pm - 7am. SCC will work with care and support service providers to ensure that care worker resource is used effectively across the services; with due regard given to minimising disturbance to neighbours, particularly at night.

Who will maintain the gardens?

A Housing/Estate manager will be appointed to maintain the landscaping and residents will be encouraged to participate in gardening as a leisure activity, should they wish to do so.

Other questions

What is the timetable for the planning application?

Following completion of the Community Consultation process, SCC anticipate submitting a planning application late June/early July 2022.

How will I know when the planning application has been made?

After this consultation has been closed a notice will be placed on the homepage – this will be updated when the planning application has been submitted and validated

How can I comment on the Planning Application?

Information will be available on the SCC online register. You can make comments or use it to check on the progress of applications under consideration

Questions asked during the Q&A

 

How will tradesmen and lorries enter the building site when it starts?

The appointed Contractor must develop and use a Construction Traffic Management Plan based on the planning application submission. This will indicate how and where site personnel and vehicles will enter, leave and move around the site, as well as hours of working. This plan will need to be approved by the planning authority.

Is it possible to notify the surgeries when access will be required on Kings Road?

Yes, it will be possible. All local residents and businesses will receive prior notification of when the work is due to start.

Given the disruption caused by other nearby developments, what consideration has been given for local residents’ mental health?

Each planning application is decided on its own merits. Our current proposal has significantly reduced the height of the development and number of units planned for this site compared to the previous outline planning application. The designers have sited the buildings further from the roads and from existing homes.

Will the development contribute community infrastructure levy (CIL) to the local area?

If the development meets the necessary criteria for National and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (RBBC) planning policy then a CIL Payment will be made.

As is a SCC project, does it get permission automatically?

No Although the planning authority is the county council rather than the district / borough council, the proposal will go through the same approval process as any other planning application, including consultation with stakeholders and notification of local residents. Reigate and Banstead Borough Council will be one of the consultees during this process.

Will this application be considered by the planning committee?

The planning officer managing the application will write a report, taking into account the views of statutory consultees; highways, environment agency etc., and the public, with a recommendation as to whether to approve or reject the planning application. If the application is being decided under delegated powers it will be signed-off by a senior member of the planning team; if not, it will be presented to the Planning and Regulation Committee for its members to make the decision.

Can you explain more how these designs have been specially designed for residents?

The apartment block building will comprise self-contained apartments on two floors with a communal lounge on the ground floor to foster and encourage social interaction between residents. The townhouses will provide shared accommodation and en-suite bedrooms suitable for wheelchair users arranged over three floors.To balance residents’ needs for privacy and social interaction, the townhouses have a maximum of two bedrooms per floor.  

The landscape design will provide a series of communal and private gardens which offer opportunities for resident to engage with nature and each other. Activity areas, social spaces and quiet contemplation areas have all been proposed, each defined by high quality planting and external furniture elements, such as tables and chairs.

The landscape includes areas of sensory planting which aims to surprise and delight both residents and staff alike. The species chosen are both resilient and adaptable to climate change and, where possible, offer nectar-rich flowers for pollinators and foliage which also supports invertebrates.  Pathways around the gardens are suitably paved and wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users.

Can you please describe the boundary of the scheme with Victoria Road i.e. will it be fenced otherwise I fear that open access could be abused?

There is an aspiration to allow the residents to feel part of the community. There will be a secure boundary, with fencing and planting, with views through in strategic locations.

How many trees will be cut down for the development?

We have reviewed the trees on site as part of the design; low-quality or dying trees will be removed and replaced so there will be a net gain overall in the number of trees on the site.

What consideration has been given to the blocking of sunlight if a property is built close to 14 Kings Road?

We have carefully reviewed the design and placing of buildings on the site to reduce the impact on local residents. A daylight impact report will form part of the planning application.

What consideration has been given to increasing the width of the road?

The road has been assessed by our transportation planning team and there is nothing to suggest it will need widening.

What provision is being made, for disabled, or frail persons to park close to the surgeries?

This proposal is intended to deliver much-needed specialist housing in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead. Due to the specific needs of the future residents it would not be possible to retain public parking on the site. A parking study was undertaken which has demonstrated that there is sufficient public parking in the local area. We will consult with RBBC to see if additional disabled parking bays can be provided in Victoria Road Car Park.

The site is not yet under construction. I realise that there may be asbestos to be removed, but until that time, can we have our car park back please?

The car park was leased to RBBC and reverted to Surrey CC at the end of the lease. It is our intention to commence demolition shortly so it will not be possible to reinstate parking on the site.

Why is disabled parking not being provided in line with the Reigate and Banstead Development Management Plan?

The development has been designed to meet the specific needs of the residents. Disabled parking has been provided in the form of pick-up/drop-off spaces and a permanent space for visitors.

Is there scope for any additional parking for residents of the new building?

We are satisfied that the parking provision is sufficient for the needs of the residents.  As a result of this consultation we are also investigating whether an additional parking space can be provided.

Is it possible to have a covered drop-off point on the site?

We investigated providing a covered drop-off point during the design process and it would have impacted adversely on the buildings’ design. We have designed the drop-off spaces to be as close to the buildings as possible.


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