A report by the Royal Town Planning Institute is calling for “lifetime neighbourhoods” to be created to cater for the needs of the country’s ageing population.

The report recommends that communities should be equipped with more facilities such as community centres and village halls, day centres, adult education, recreation and health centres.

The report says that communities also needed to have a balance of housetypes so that there are suitable homes for all age groups, and it suggests that urban housing developments should incorporate larger apartments that could be suitable for elderly buyers trading down from family houses.

The report, called Planning for an Ageing Population, has been produced by a working group of RTPI members. Trevor Roberts, chairman of the working group, said changes might be gradual, but must be made immediately. He said: “Dramatic changes in population will take place within the lifespan of buildings that are being planned and built now.”

The report says by 2041 there will be equal numbers of over-45s and under-45s. The number of people of pensionable age is set to increase from 10.8 million in 2001 to 16.6 million in 2041. This will result in only a modest increase in demand for residential care and nursing homes, but greater demand for amenities and for homes in coastal areas and historic small towns.