I read Mark Leftly’s blog on freeing up controls on retirement homes (26 July, www.building.co.uk/blogs) with incredulity. Perhaps he ought to talk to some people a bit closer to retirement.
The sector needs more, not fewer, controls. Sites are bought, regardless of local needs, and detention centres are built for those who are finding it difficult to cope in their homes. The last thing anyone needs when they are finding it hard to manage is to be marooned on the second floor of Gulag Acacia Avenue.
The reason most of us hold on to our houses beyond the stage we can still look after them properly, is that there are no suitable smaller properties to move in to.
Most of us would like our own front door on to the street, somewhere to park a small car or invalid buggy and a small private garden, big enough hang a clothes line, have a barbecue with a few friends and grow a few flowers or vegetables – a bit like the old almshouses.
If McCarthy & Stone and Churchill Retirement Living really care about what elderly people want and not just about making money out of a site, they would be building for this kind of retirement living.