Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Extra Care Housing and how does it help people? 

Extra Care Housing is specialist, high-quality accommodation designed for older people who need additional support and care to keep living independently. Each self-contained flat has its own front door and each development offers communal facilities with activities to encourage people to participate and develop a supportive community.  An onsite care provider will support residents to maintain their health and wellbeing and staff are available 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.

We know that with the right housing and the right care, in the right place, people are less likely to feel isolated or lonely, will live independently for longer, and are less likely to require hospital admission.  Extra Care Housing delivers homes designed with care and support in mind, with facilities and staffing in place to help older people to live as independently as they wish.

Why is new Extra Care Housing accommodation needed?

Currently there is not enough affordable Extra Care Housing in Surrey. This means that many older people who can no longer live in their existing homes because of their needs, often end up having to move into a care home.  With more Extra Care Housing available, older people can live long-term in a supportive and well-designed community.

How will the residents’ needs be supported?

Our Extra Care Housing will be: 
• Designed so that residents can live their life their own way
• Created with our residents' future in mind 
• Within the heart of the community
• Designed to support and promote our residents' independence. 

SCC will commission care and support for each individual and this will include:
• Care – help with personal care and daily living tasks in the home
• Support – help to understand and maintain their tenancies, complete household tasks, look after their home, maintain and make use of external space for recreation, engage in social activities, link with the community and secure employment as appropriate

Does Extra Care Housing work well for people?

Extra Care Housing works well for many people. Surrey’s existing Extra Care Housing provision has provided accommodation with care and support for many older people over a number of years, enabling them to live as active members of their local communities.

• Extra Care Housing is designed to overcome challenges with our existing accommodation:

• changing resident expectations including high demand for self-contained flats which aren’t always readily available

• older properties which cannot accommodate changes to residents’ care and support needs over time e.g. for wheelchair accessibility and lifts; and

• the need for facilities that maintain privacy and dignity e.g. ensuite bath/shower rooms.

Is similar specialist accommodation available across Surrey?

The independent sector is building a limited number of new homes for older people, but they tend to be available on a market-led rental or leased ownership arrangement. This is why there is still insufficient affordable accommodation to meet demand.

With this development, SCC seeks to re-purpose and re-develop an SCC-owned site, to deliver against its large-scale ambitions for accommodation with care and support across Surrey so that everyone has a place they can call home, with appropriate housing for all.

Who is the housing for?

The accommodation is intended for older people in need of care and support to maintain their independence. Some may have a physical disability, sensory impairment or mental health needs.  All potential residents will be assessed to confirm their suitability for Extra Care Housing and to ensure that their care and support needs can be met.

Will these homes be limited to Surrey residents?

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

SCC will consider local connections and as far as possible support people to remain in their communities; however, the primary consideration will centre around offering accommodation that meets the needs of the individual.

How long will people live in the accommodation?

Extra Care Housing is designed to be flexible and adaptable, so that residents don’t have to move out of their homes if their needs change. Ideally with care and support, residents will be able to remain for the rest of their lives, and people will only have to consider moving into a care home when their care needs require on-site nursing input to be met.

Why was this location chosen?

This location matched Surrey County Council’s key selection criteria for an Extra Care Housing site:

• it’s within easy walking distance of amenities like shops, health services, libraries etc.

• it has good access to public transport routes, so residents and staff don’t have to be reliant on cars

• it balances locality with natural features which will benefit residents and visitors

Will all the homes be wheelchair accessible?

Yes – all of the accommodation has been designed to meet the latest Building Regulations standards for accessible, adaptable homes.

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

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

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

Car parking arrangements will be tailored to meet the needs of the specific residents, staff and visitors.

Will there be electric vehicle charging points?

All parking bays will have electric charging points, designed to meet existing and future demand.

Will there be floodlights?

No - the external lighting has been designed to illuminate car parks, paths and gardens in a way that will encourage wildlife etc. whilst still maintaining safety and security for residents.

How many staff will be employed at the site?

This will be largely dependent on the needs of the residents. It’s likely that there will be 24hr support for residents with additional care workers attending at key times of day.

Will there be onsite carers?

Each resident will have their own care and support needs and a care package will be tailored to meet those needs for each individual. One or more care workers will be on site throughout the day and overnight; but it is not possible, at this early stage, to be precise as to staff numbers, attendance rotas and shift patterns as each will depend on the exact needs of the individuals - which may change over time.

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.

Overnight vehicular activity will be limited and care workers providing night cover will ordinarily remain on site 10pm - 7am. SCC will work with service providers to ensure that care worker resource is used effectively; and 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.

How can I comment on the Planning Application?

You can view and comment on the planning application by clicking here

How will people be able to apply to become tenants at the new extra care scheme?

Applications will be welcomed from people who are struggling to keep living at their current home and who really need the affordable housing, care and support offered by Extra Care Housing to remain as independent as possible.

Anyone who applies will have their needs assessed by Surrey County Council. Where that person will clearly benefit from a tenancy in the Extra Care Housing community, their application can be examined for its suitability. Some aspects which will be looked at include:

• How much care and support the person needs to remain independent

• The applicant’s age – individual exceptions can be made where it’s clear that the community would be the best place to help the person to keep living independently

• How urgent the person’s need is to become a tenant

SCC will then decide who can be provided with a tenancy and, if there is a waiting list, who should be prioritised when a flat becomes vacant.

Will there be activities for the residents?

A key focus of Extra Care Housing is providing enjoyable activities for residents. We recognise that to make the development an enjoyable place to live, the management team will work closely with residents and other parties to arrange a variety of activities focused on well-being, engagement, and fun, to maximise residents’ enjoyment of their homes.

Why are you opening up our quiet cul-de-sac? That’s why we moved here. Why this location?

SCC have looked at all of their sites and this site has been deemed a suitable setting to meet the significant level of need for housing for older people and to deliver on its targets as a matter of increasing urgency to reduce pressure on care homes. 

A couple was told in their searches that that field had a covenant that does not allow building on it! Is there a covenant to prevent a building? 

There are restricted covenants on the site ‘not to use or permit to be used the land as allotments’ and ‘not to keep or permit to be kept on the land any domestic animals other than such animals as may be deemed to be household pets’. Neither of these restricted covenants are breached by the proposal to use this land for Extra Care Housing. What may have appeared in the searches is that there is a restriction on the title which requires an order under the Education Act for SCC to dispose of the property, but SCC is not planning on disposing of the property. 

To enter the home would mean driving over a protected walking path used by a lot of school children. Is that correct? 

The issue of it being a protected path doesn’t necessarily mean that a new road access cannot be formed across it. SCC’s Highways team will look at what sort of traffic calming measures may need to put in place to ensure pedestrians and other more vulnerable road users are protected. The crossover point is a very short distance from the entrance to the site and there will be no driving across it at speed to get into the development. 

How can you develop on this field with the DM15 that is currently in place until 2028? 

DM15 is a policy of the Surrey Heath Local Plan which protects green spaces. This site is currently identified as a green space but that may be subject to change and the policy should be read in conjunction with all the other policies in the plan, such as those that support affordable housing for elderly residents. Surrey Heath BC has accepted that there may be development potential on this site and that there are other benefits of this scheme that outweigh the downsides. 

Who will make the decision on the balance for those policies and how will they match up with the proposals?

This application will be submitted to and determined by SCC’s Regulation 3 Planning Team in consultation with Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Planning team. Comments on the scheme sought and where necessary the scheme may be altered or improved to address neighbour concerns. 

Why is there a need for three floors overlooking people’s gardens? 

From the southern side, the building is two floors and from the northern side, there are three storeys. SCC have carefully assessed the location of the building to avoid any overlooking on any neighbouring buildings. There is a certain threshold number of units that makes a site viable. SCC is aiming to provide a central garden between the two building wings. SCC have also made sure there is sufficient distance between the development and neighbouring properties to prevent loss of daylight/sunlight. 

How do you intend to keep children safe walking to school along the currently walk/cycle way? 

The route into the site from Caroline Way will be straight so that traffic remains visible to ensure the site is safe for all road users. 

Who will the planning application be submitted to – will it be to Surrey County Council or Surrey Heath Borough Council? 

The Outline Planning Application will be submitted to Surrey County Council who will consider the application in consultation with Surrey Heath Borough Council and other consultees looking after highways, flood prevention and the like. 

How will you prevent overlooking of properties with this scale of development? 

SCC have been working with Rights to Light consultants on the design which has informed the location and orientation of the building, the location of balconies, the distance to neighbouring properties and the design makes use of existing trees for screening, to avoid any overlooking. 

How will you prevent overspill parking onto the adjacent highway network – Caroline Way and Melville Avenue? 

The parking provision on site will be calculated based on number of residents, occupancy rates, staff patterns and number of visitors. The proposals will be examined by SCC Highways to ensure that the parking space is located on site and meets the anticipated demand from this development. Parking provided on site minimises the risk of overspill parking. 

Why is the vehicular access to the new housing unit directed along Field Lane? 

The site is to be accessed from Caroline Way to the north. The entrance to the site will be directly across Field Lane, as shown on the drawings on the Landscaping page of the website. 

Do you know if SCC have plans to re-visit traffic calming measures? 

Due to changes in level between the site and Field Lane and Caroline Way, there will have to be some change in level to achieve the access, so traffic-calming measures will be inevitable. 

Will there be any public meetings about this development? 

Your Shout has been running sessions like this for many years and our experience is that hosting consultations online makes them more accessible and inclusive. A leaflet was sent to local properties that had information on how to find out more about the proposals. If you would like more information printed out on paper and posted to you, please give us a call on our helpline number. 

What consideration has been given to run off and potential flooding around Caroline Way and/or Fields Lane? 

The specialist civils team is looking at the design and will ensure there is no issues with flooding. We are proposing a sustainable urban drainage scheme (SUDs), eater features and permeable paving to car parks as methods of dealing with surface water run-off. 

What are the cameras that have been installed on the site being used for? 

Night-vision cameras were installed by ecologists on site to capture wildlife nocturnal movement following reports from a member of the public that a badger had been observed on the site. 

Are we doing anything to provide a safe walking route to parents and children who use Field Lane to access schools? 

SCC proposes traffic calming measures on the route directly into the site from Caroline Way which will make Field Lane safer for pedestrians and cyclists. There has been a change to the highway code in 2022 that gives pedestrians and cyclists priority over motor vehicles and the road will be designed to that new standard. 

Are we planning to widen the road at the bottom of Caroline Way? 

SCC does not have that level of detail yet as they are still finalising the drawings for the outline planning application which will include indications of the access. Further design will be done during the detailed design stage to identify how wide Caroline Way will need to be, but it is unlikely to be wider than it is now as enough space exists for two vehicles to pass side by side. 

Will you be putting yellow lines in Caroline Way? 

Guidance will be given by SCC Highways Authority in consultation with Surrey Heath Borough Council who will ensure that where roads meet, vehicles are discouraged from parking in a manner that creates hazards for other road users. SCC cannot be definitive at this stage, but it might be necessary to place yellow lines at road junctions and put a restriction on waiting for safety reasons. 

Why were extensive drilling and digging surveys completed before the wildlife survey had taken place?

That isn’t the case. Many of the preliminary surveys were carried out several weeks and months before the drilling activity took place. The drilling and digging were carried out for two reasons. Firstly, to undertake a geotechnical survey - although there are desktop studies that can be done, there is no substitute to drilling down and finding out what the sub-soil is. Secondly, since the site has never been developed before, archaeological studies have had to take place. 

How long will the development take to construct? 

SCC is still in the process of appointing a development partner. Once the development partner is selected, a detailed planning application will be submitted 12 months after that during late Spring and early Summer 2024. Subject to receiving planning approval, a development of this type would take 18 months to 2 years to build. This site is one of six extra care housing developments. One of the sites has a development partner in place. The other five are being treated as a batch with the development partner not yet appointed. SCC anticipates the first site will be completed in Summer 2026 and the final one completed in Spring/Summer 2027 based on the current development programme. 

How can we make sure the construction won’t overly-impact on people’s lives in terms of noise and construction? 

It is a requirement of the planning regulations that the developer must submit a construction traffic management plan so that the development is not to the detriment of local residents. The contractor will be required to be(come) a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and commit to looking after residents and neighbours, reducing noise and dust pollution and ensuring workers have a good environment to work on site. Any complaints that residents have can be made directly to the Considerate Constructor’s Scheme. 

In addition to cars and delivery lorries, are we going to have public transport in Caroline Way as well? 

SCC is aware that the existing public transport does not serve Caroline Way; it serves nearby roads. At present, SCC plans no changes but are looking at what other developments might take place in the area in the next 5 years that might justify a change to local transport services. 

What has been considered for flooding risks? 

The area does not sit in a flood risk area so the only consideration relevant to this site is surface water run-off. SCC has prepared its design to the latest principles of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) to avoid any flooding that could impact the neighbouring developments. 

How will emergency vehicles access the site? 

Via Caroline Way and the site entrance. SCC have worked with the transport consultant to review the turning arrangements for vehicles on site. The turning arrangements will take place within the site boundary. The relevant authorities will be consulted to ensure they are happy. 

How does 20 parking spaces not including staff deal with the needs of 50 homes? 

The parking figure is 25 at present and will have to be agreed with SCC’s transport team based on an individual assessment which will look into factors such as public transport, staff shift timings and number of residents using cars. 

Will the site be run by SCC or will it be outsourced? 

SCC is planning to deliver this scheme with a development partner. There will be a design, build, finance model used for the buildings. There will also be a care provider to look after the residents. The development partner bid is currently out to tender and an announcement will be made in due course. 

Will there be set visiting times and how many visitors will be allowed at each of these? 

The development will provide flexibility to visiting times to allow evening and night visits. There will be no set visiting times or a restriction on how many visitors will be allowed at certain times. 

How are residents without internet access to be given a voice?

Residents can ask for hard copies of the consultation material. There is a free-post reply on the leaflet, and a freephone number 0800 955 1042 for residents to call with any queries. In practice, the overwhelming majority of Surrey residents have internet access, either through their smartphone, internet-connected TV, tablet, or other device. Internet connectivity is almost universal in younger people aged up to 60. Above that age, connectivity is extremely high.

Could you give me any idea of the anticipated costs to buy/rent on completion of the project?

The homes will be offered on an affordable rental basis with the rent set at a level that can be met by housing benefit. Residents will be occupying the new homes under secure tenancies. There may be cases where people are not in receipt of housing benefit and may have limited means, but they will pay the same level of rent to ensure the homes are affordable for everyone. Unfortunately, it is too early to give a figure on how much the rent will be as housing benefit varies by location and is set regionally with periodic adjustments by government.

Solar panels may not be easily disposable. Please advise on the Council strategy for solar panel disposal and decontamination of land

Solar panels are recyclable. They are constructed almost entirely from aluminium, glass and silicon, which are all very easy to break down and re-use. Almost 95% of the glass is reclaimed and the metal parts are used to re-mould solar cell frames.

Our site investigations undertaken to date have not identified any existing contamination.