On 16th September 2020 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked the Government “what plans they have to ensure that any changes to the planning system will improve (1) building standards, (2) safety, (3) environmental impacts, and (4) the well-being of residents.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the latest English housing survey reveals that only 9% of our housing stock has key disability accessibility features. Disability in old age is frequent, and with the ONS estimating that one in four people will be aged 65 or over by 2050 it is vital that we cater for what we are going to need.
Although the recently announced government consultation into this issue is welcome, can the Minister confirm that prior to any changes in planning law, the recommendations of this consultation will be fully implemented to ensure that the vulnerable are not left behind?
Lord Greenhalgh (Con): My Lords, I can assure the House that we will consider the needs of all residents, including the vulnerable and the disabled, in ensuring that we have the high-quality design and the beautiful and healthy places that they need.