DCAN 9: Residential and Nursing Homes
Issued by: Department of the Environment
1.1 The Department has recently received a number of planning applications (or residential and nursing homes particularly in the Belfast area and in some rural areas and the purpose of this advice note is to provide guidance and advice to intending developers and their agents as well as to other interested parties.
1.2 "Residential and nursing homes" fall within class 11 of the Planning (Use Classes) Order 1973 which covers the following:
‘Use as a home or institution providing for the boarding, care and maintenance of children, old people, or persons under disability, a convalescent home, a nursing home, or a hospital"
Although this Advice Note concentrates on residential and nursing homes, the advice given can also be applied to hospitals in appropriate circumstances. In any case where differences can arise as between one use and another within class 11; the Department reserves the right to grant planning permission, subject to no change within the class.
1.3 Where part of a dwelling house is to be used for residential care and the remainder is occupied by the owner/operator of the facility the latter is advised to contact the Divisional Planning Office to see if planning permission is required. In cases where planning permission is required for changes of use the Department will need to be satisfied that detailed planning requirements can be met, and also taken cumulatively, small extensions and changes of use will not adversely affect the character of an area.
1.4 Types of Planning Application
Applications for residential and nursing homes fall into the following categories:
- New development. This covers situations where new home is to be built on an undeveloped site or a site which is due for redevelopment.
- Change of use of a building to a residential or nursing home. Detached dwellings are likely to be the most acceptable for this type of use, particularly if they are substantial villas or mansions set in reasonably large grounds with mature landscaping.
- Extension to an existing residential or nursing home.