Preamble

This policy describes the National Capital Planning Authority's policies for the development of aged persons accommodation.

The policies are intended to provide for the specific accommodation needs of aged persons and focus on physical aspects of providing aged persons accommodation. The policies provide location, siting and broad design guidelines to address these specific accommodation needs.

All applications for development of aged persons homes will be referred to the responsible ACT Government for advice as to need before consideration under this policy by the National Capital Planning Authority.

General Policies

Objectives

The National Capital Planning Authority's objectives in relation to the development of aged persons accommodation are:

  1. to encourage the development of aged persons accommodation in locations with good access to shops and community facilities;
  2. to ensure that new aged persons accommodation avoids an institutional appearance and character;
  3. to encourage the maintenance of aged persons' established social networks and avoid unnecessary environmental change;
  4. to encourage the comfort, safety, security and well-being of aged persons;
  5. to enhance the opportunities for aged persons to be involved in their community.

Location And Siting

In established areas, the National Capital Planning Authority will give consideration to the redevelopment or conversion of existing housing, and the development of institutional or community land, standard and medium-density housing sites and vacant unleased land, for aged persons accommodation and day care centres for the aged.

The preferred locations for aged persons accommodation are those which provide the opportunity for aged persons to live within walking distance of shops, personal services, community facilities and transport. In particular, proposed sites should provide:

  1. easy access to local shopping facilities (i.e. no further than 400m on flat ground, less distance as slope increases);
  2. convenient access to public transport (i.e. location either on a bus route or within short walking distance of a bus stop);
  3. proximity to an activity area such as a recreation or community facility;
  4. close proximity to other residential development to provide a relationship with the surrounding community.

Proposed sites should be protected from major and/or continuous noise and have least exposure to climatic extremes. Cold or windy aspects should be avoided and sites should allow the northern orientation of self-contained units. Steep grades on the proposed site or between the proposed site and other facilities and services should also be avoided. Where practicable aged persons accommodation should be located so that there is no need to cross busy roads to access facilities and sites should be selected to take advantage of existing pedestrian crossings.

In the case of nursing homes for the aged, a location close to shops and community facilities is less important, and the preferred locations are those which are quiet, accessible for visitors and close to medical facilities.

Increasingly day care facilities for aged persons are being provided on nursing home and hostel sites to serve not only the residents of these facilities but other elderly from the community as well.

Sites should be of sufficient size to permit adequate landscaping and off-street car parking. The environment should be pleasant and homelike. Development for aged persons accommodation or day care centres should be compatible with the scale and character of adjacent residential areas.

Specific Policies

  1. In assessing applications for sites or proposals for development or change of use, the National Capital Planning Authority will take into consideration a number of circumstances related to the individual merit of each case. These include:
    1. whether the proposed development or use is consistent with the general planning and development intentions for the area concerned, and specific detailed conditions of planning and development;
    2. the need in the area for the particular uses or services proposed on the site;
    3. the effect the proposed development or use is likely to have on the amenity of the locality;
    4. whether the proposed development or use could be accommodated within the existing utilities and services, in particular, whether support services for aged persons are or will be available in the vicinity within a reasonable time, and are or will be able to provide for the residents of the development in need of such services;
    5. whether the traffic generated by the proposed development could be accommodated adequately on the road system and whether adequate provision is made for the parking and movement of vehicles.
  2. The National Capital Planning Authority will apply established procedures and standards to support these criteria, including the Design and Siting Conditions . In particular, the plot ratio of aged persons accommodation shall be as specified in Part III of those conditions, namely not greater than 0.40 unless otherwise specifically provided for.
  3. The planning and design of aged persons accommodation should be generally consistent with approved standards. The proposed accommodation should be functional and safe, with particular emphasis placed on accessibility and ease of movement for the frail aged and disabled (Australian Standard 1428 applies).
  4. Within each site, walking distances to car parking areas and garbage disposal facilities should generally not exceed 75m.
  5. Internal and external lighting should be given particular attention on account of the need tor security and personal safety.
  6. Blocks currently set aside for institutional or community uses may be developed for aged persons accommodation or day car centres if they meet the preceding criteria.
  7. The National Capital Planning Authority will also consider proposals for:
    1. the development of self-care units for aged persons on sites currently allocated for standard or medium-density housing;
    2. the conversion of existing housing to self-care units for aged persons;
    3. the development of vacant unleased land for aged persons homes, self-care units for the aged and day care centres for aged or disabled persons;
    4. if they meet the preceding criteria. As a general rule adjoining owners will be consulted.
  8. Privately constructed self-care units for aged persons shall be for aged persons primarily, being persons aged 60 years or over. Any mixture of self-care units for aged persons and standard residential family units on the same site will not be permitted because of the different requirements and characteristics of these forms of housing. It is intended, however, that a person not being an aged person may reside with an aged person in self-care units for aged persons.
  9. Approval for mixtures of self-care units for aged persons, hostel accommodation and nursing home accommodation on the same site will be dependent on support from the responsible ACT Government Department.

Car Parking Standards

The requirements for the provision of on-site car parking will be determined after consideration of the type and amount of aged persons accommodation to be provided.

The following standards of provision may be taken as a guide:

  1. Self-Care Units tor Aged Persons spaces are to be identified on a plan on the basis of one space for each self-care unit for aged persons in locations which permit the construction of a garage or carport. Spaces are to be developed to the following standards:
    1. 7 parking spaces for each ten privately constructed self-care units for aged persons.
    2. 5 parking spaces for each ten self-care units for aged persons constructed by, or on behalf of, the ACT Government.
  2. Access to self-care units should allow for entry by ambulances and para-transit vehicles and particular attention should be given to ease of entry and exit and manoeuvrability.
  3. Aged Persons Homes:
    1. 5 parking spaces for each ten units in a hostel;
    2. 5 parking spaces for each ten beds in a nursing home;
    3. 1 parking space for each staff residential unit provided in connection with the development;
    4. 1 adequately screened space suitable for parking an ambulance.
  4. Day Care Centres:
    1. 3 parking spaces per 100m2 gross floor area;
    2. an indented covered bus bay at least 20m long to double as a pick up and set down area.
  5. Car parking spaces for use by disabled people should be provided at the following standard:
    1. 1 parking space for each ten car parking spaces, provided that at least one car parking space for use by disabled people is always provided in connection with the development.
  6. Wheelchair access should be provided between any car parking space for disabled people and any adjoining pathway or building.
  7. Where other facilities such as chapels, therapy rooms and recreation facilities ale provided, additional car parking will be required to the National Capital Planning Authority's satisfaction.

Definitions

In this policy:

Aged Persons Home

means a building designed, constructed or adapted for, and used or intended for use to house aged persons as defined in the Commonwealth Aged or Disabled Persons Homes Act, 1954 as amended, and includes hostel accommodation for aged persons and nursing homes but does not include Self-Care Units for Aged Persons or a Day Care Centre for Aged or Disabled Persons as defined in this policy.

Day Care Centre for Aged or Disabled Persons

means a community facility at which therapeutic support services are available on a five day a week basis to aged or disabled people who may be transported to it; therapeutic support services may include some rehabilitation, maintenance or diversionary therapy;

Self-Care Units for Aged Persons

means residential accommodation which is or is intended to be used permanently as housing for the accommodation of persons aged 60 years or over and which consists of a grouping of two or more self-contained dwellings and may include any of the following ancillary facilities provided for use in connection with that accommodation on the same site:

  1. accommodation for staff employed or to be employed in connection with that accommodation;
  2. chapels;
  3. medical consulting rooms;
  4. meeting rooms;
  5. recreational facilities;
  6. therapy rooms; or
  7. any other facilities for the use or benefit of aged persons which is ancillary to the residential accommodation provided on site.