DCAN 9: Residential and Nursing Homes
2.0 Cities, Towns and Villages
2.1 It is to be expected that, other than in exceptional circumstances, residential and nursing homes will be located in cities, towns and villages where services are readily and conveniently available. Clearly a different range of planning considerations can arise as between a site in Belfast compared to a site within a small town or village.
2.2 Planning Considerations
In urban areas the Department will have regard to the following matters:
- Siting. Attention will be paid to the size of site, its configuration and any physical characteristics and constraints attaching thereto, including the position of the buildings.
- Locality. The Department will consider the existing (and anticipated) character of the area in which the proposal is to be located and the compatibility of the use in such an area.
The existence or otherwise of similar establishments will be considered from the point of view of precedent, as well as from the point of view of the effect of an additional establishment or establishments on the character of the area. These considerations will have particular relevance in coastal resort towns where changes of use ofhotels and/or guest houses to residential/nursing homes could have a significant impact on the tourist industry and the character of the resort.
- Traffic Aspects. The Department will satisfy itself on the following points:
- That access requirements can be met.
- That the existing road network can satisfactorily accommodate any additional traffic from the proposal.
- On and off street parking and servicing requirements can be met taking into account provision for staff, (full-time and part-time) visitors, doctors, ambulances, service vehicles, taxis etc and bearing in mind the capacity of the site/area to accept them. Parking standards are as follows:
- (i) Staff parking - one space per full-time member of staff. Part-time staff - one space per 2 part-time members of staff.
- (ii) Visitor parking - one space per 3 beds.
Service vehicles, particularly doctors and ambulances should be able to manoeuvre unimpeded within the site.
- Amenity. Due regard will be given to the effect of nursing and residential homes on the amenity of area in question, both visually and with regard to noise, nuisance and general disturbance.
- Design and Layout. In cases other than changes of use it is important to ensure that the design and layout of buildings on site are satisfactory in themselves and in relation to adjoining properties. The Department will have regard to the height, scale, massing, space around buildings, distances from boundaries etc and to the provision of garden amenity space for use by residents.
- Landscaping. The impact of any proposals on existing landscaping will be considered together with the need for the provision of new or additional landscape treatment on any proposed site.