FAQs


Questions about the service

What is Supported Independent Living and how does it help people?

An individual is provided with accommodation and support. The individual has a tenancy agreement, so they have the right to remain in their home and change their support provider if they wish. Supported Independent living can be delivered in self-contained accommodation e.g. 1 or 2 bed flats or shared accommodation. Individuals have a greater degree of choice and control over their lives than in residential care and individuals living in Supported Independent Living are perfectly able to thrive living in the community with the right support.

Why is new Supported Independent Living accommodation needed?

SCC Adult Social Care (ASC) has identified the Borough of Woking as an area of need for affordable provision of Supported Independent Living, with total demand 2021-2026 estimated to be 51-75 units. SCC data shows that some people with a learning disability and/or autism, currently in residential care, may be suitable to move into supported independent living. There are also young people coming through Transition to ASC who will require accommodation in the short to medium term.

How will the residents’ needs be supported

SCC will commission care and support for each individual and this will include: 

  • Support – help to understand and maintain their tenancies, complete household tasks, look after their home, maintain and make use of external space for recreation and social activities 
  • Care – help with personal care and medication, to engage in activities, to link with the community and to secure employment as appropriate.

Does Supported Independent Living work well for people?

Supported Independent living works well for many people. Surrey’s existing supported independent living provision has provided accommodation with care and support for many people with learning disabilities over a number of years, enabling them to live as active members of their local communities.
There are some challenges with our existing accommodation:
• high demand for self-contained flats which aren’t always readily available
• older properties cannot accommodate changes to residents’ care and support needs over time e.g. wheelchair accessibility, lifts
• changing resident expectations and the need for facilities that maintain privacy and dignity e.g. ensuite bath/shower rooms.

Is similar specialist accommodation available across Surrey?

Housing and Care Providers have delivered some Supported Independent Living schemes in other parts of Surrey. The independent sector is also undertaking developments to supplement existing provision. However, there is still insufficient accommodation to meet demand and to achieve SCC’s large-scale ambitions for accommodation with care; therefore with this development SCC seeks to re-purpose and re-develop an SCC-owned site.

I have a learning disability and have eligible care and support needs/I am the carer of such an individual. I am interested in finding out more about the accommodation and how to express an interest in living here. How do I go about this?

Individuals who have eligible care and support needs and who have an interest in the accommodation should, in the first instance, make contact with the Learning Disability Team or their allocated Care Practitioner. Interest can then be noted and further conversations can be had as the development progresses.

Questions about the future residents

Who is the housing for?

The accommodation is intended for adults with a learning disability and/or autism. Some people may also have a physical disability, sensory impairment or mental health needs. All potential residents will be assessed to confirm their suitability for Supported Independent Living and to ensure that their care and support needs can be met.

How many people will live at this development?

Up to 16 residents, in one 2-storey apartment block of six 1-bedroom self-contained flats and two 5-bedroom, 3-storey townhouses. 

Will these homes be limited to Surrey residents?

Yes - individuals living in the properties will be required to have eligible care and support needs and be eligible for funding from SCC – so all will be deemed to reside in Surrey or have the right to reside in Surrey. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that individuals will have a connection to the local district/borough area. Whilst SCC will consider local connections and as far as possible support people to remain in their communities, the primary consideration will centre around offering accommodation that meets the needs of the individual - and this might not always be within their home town / borough.

How long will people live in the accommodation?

It is intended that the accommodation is for ‘long term’ settled housing. The buildings have been designed to be adaptable (e.g. as people get older or less able) so that residents don’t have to move out if their needs change. Alternatively it may be a stepping stone (for instance, younger people who begin on a shared living basis and subsequently move into self-contained accommodation). 

Will the residents create lots of noise and how will this be mitigated?

Some people with a learning disability and/or autism may express themselves and/or communicate in ways that can be noisy. The proposed developments have been designed with this in mind. All the buildings have additional sound insulation. Each building has extensive landscaped grounds, deliberately designed to offer residents private outdoor space. Screen planting and fencing will be used to create ‘buffer’ zones which will help to maintain privacy and lower noise levels experienced both by the residents and their neighbours.

Will any of the residents pose a risk/danger to neighbours (e.g. children)?

No. The scheme is not intended to house people with forensic needs or people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system. The schemes are designed for adults with a learning disability and/or autism and who may currently live in a residential care home/college or with family. The service is being designed to enable people with a learning disability/autism to live independently, play a more active and confident role in their communities and remain safe and healthy. Individuals will be matched to schemes and, as part of this process Surrey’s Adult Social Care team will undertake relevant and robust assessments of suitability and risk. Each resident will have a personalised care/support package – designed to enable them to live as independently as possible in a safe manner, including mechanisms by which any challenging behaviours can be managed if required. These measures will also ensure the safety of the wider community.

Will the residents increase the pressure on local GP surgeries / health facilities?

There may be additional demands on local health services  which SCC’s Adult Social Care team are working to address, in partnership with primary healthcare colleagues at Surrey Heartlands CCG.

Questions about the site

Why was this location chosen? 

This location matched SCC’s key criteria for Supported Independent Living:  
• Within walking distance of amenities (shops, community facilities and health services)
• Good access to transport (bus routes, rail stations) for residents and staff
• Within an existing community (urban/suburban residential neighbourhood)

Will the buildings increase flood risks?

No. A flood risk assessment has been carried out and the landscaping has been designed to include a Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SUDS) which, with the increase in planting, will mitigate against any flooding risk.

Will this overlook my property?

No – the properties have deliberately been set out in a manner such that no neighbouring homes in Sanway Road and Magdalen Crescent are overlooked.

What will happen to the wildlife currently on the site?

Detailed ecological studies have been undertaken. Plans are in hand to protect endangered species during construction including safe relocation on site if required; and landscaping/planting has been designed to increase biodiversity after completion, including enhancing the habitat for local wildlife.

Questions about the building design

What has the design been based on?

SCC have engaged with users of services, their carers, and professionals including Occupational Therapists and Registered Care Providers. SCC has also spoken with other authorities who have developed schemes recently e.g. Oxfordshire County Council. This engagement has been fundamental and has helped shape the internal and external designs/layouts. Research undertaken by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (HousingLIN) and the Department of Health has informed the design, as has guidance from Mencap, Kingwood Trust, the Care Quality Commission and the new National Disability Strategy published in 2021. Key factors considered include: accessibility; space requirements; aesthetics – a domestic, non-institutional environment; use of light and sensory requirements. Landscape and building designers have also had to factor in existing site characteristics and constraints e.g. position of access, trees, slopes and existing wildlife.

Will all the residences be wheelchair accessible?

Yes – all accommodation has been designed to meet the Building Regulations M4(2) standard for accessible, adaptable dwellings, which replaced the Lifetime Homes Standard. In addition two of the flats and all townhouse accommodation has been designed to achieve the Building Regulations M4(3) standard for wheelchair users.

Will the building be secure?  / How will the building be secured?

The development will follow Secured by Design principles for new homes with enhancements to suit the specific needs of the residents, e.g. access controls, external security lighting and a video entry system.

How much parking will there be / Where will visitors park?

The car parking is a bespoke provision to meet the needs of the specific residents, staff and visitors. Six spaces will be provided for residents and staff plus one bookable, accessible visitor’s parking bay. There will also be two accessible pick-up/drop-off bays located in front of the townhouses.

Will there be electric vehicle charging points?

All parking bays will have electric charging points providing a 100% supply to meet existing and future demand.

Will there be floodlights?

No - the external lighting has been designed to illuminate at low level to encourage wildlife etc. whilst still maintaining safety for the residents.

Questions about staffing

How many staff will be employed at the site?

This would be largely dependent on the needs of the residents. It’s likely that there will be some element of 24hr support within each of the sets of accommodation with care workers attending at key times of day.

Will there be onsite carers?

There will be care workers on site, but not on a “living in” basis. Each resident will have their own individual care and support needs and a care package will be tailored to meet those needs. It is not possible, at this stage, to be precise as to rotas, shift patterns and attendance as this will depend on the exact needs of the individuals; and of course these are likely to change over time. In any event, the nature of the services is such that, potentially, one or more care workers will provide overnight cover.

Will carers come and go at all hours of the day and night?

Care workers will attend as needed to fulfil individual residents’ support plans. Activity is likely to be greater during the day. There will be peak times for activity, e.g. personal care and breakfast in the morning and dinner and personal care in the evening – but these peak activity periods are less likely to coincide with the school run, for example. Residents will also be out and about, participating in leisure activities and potentially employment, just like any other member of the community. 

At night activity will be limited and care workers providing night cover will ordinarily remain on site 10pm - 7am. SCC will work with care and support service providers to ensure that care worker resource is used effectively across the services; with due regard given to minimising disturbance to neighbours, particularly at night.

Who will maintain the gardens?

A Housing/Estate manager will be appointed to maintain the landscaping and residents will be encouraged to participate in gardening as a leisure activity, should they wish to do so.

Is the site in the ownership and control of SCC, and when did SCC acquire the site in question?

As part of the due diligence process before commencing proposals to develop the site, the Council has undertaken a review of the registered entries at the Land Registry and the title deeds that the Council holds for this site. The records confirm that SCC is the legal owner with title absolute of the land at Former Manor School. The Title Deeds evidence that SCC purchased the land in 1962 from the executors of Mr F.C. Stoop and from Federated Homes.

Are there any restrictive covenants on the land?

SCC has also commissioned a detailed Title report from independent solicitors. On the information available to the Council, no restrictive covenants either for the benefit of the children of Sanway or otherwise have been found, that would prevent use of the site by SCC for the proposed purpose.

You talk about controlling stimulation levels. With this in mind why have you put activity areas on plot 4 of the landscaping plan which is closest to the houses on Magdalen Crescent?

The area was selected for recreational gardening in raised beds. This was not anticipated to be an activity that would generate noise. Consideration will be given to siting the various garden activities in the most suitable location.

Where do we stand on compensation for our lost house values on Magdalen Crescent and Close?

There are a number of circumstances under which a property owner may claim for loss of value; but it does not appear that the development is a valid reason for such a claim.

Other questions

What is the timetable for the planning application?

Following completion of the Community Consultation process, SCC anticipate submitting a planning application late June/early July 2022.

How will I know when the planning application has been made?

After this consultation has been closed a notice will be placed on the homepage – this will be updated when the planning application has been submitted and validated

How can I comment on the Planning Application?

Information will be available on the SCC online register. You can make comments or use it to check on the progress of applications under consideration

Questions asked during the Q&A

Is the site in the ownership and control of SCC? When did SCC acquire the site in question? 

As part of the  due diligence process before commencing proposals to develop the site, the Council has undertaken a review of the registered entries at the Land Registry and the title deeds that the Council holds for this site.  The records confirm that SCC is the legal owner with title absolute of the land at Former Manor School. The Title Deeds evidence that SCC purchased the land in 1962, before the school was built,  from the executors of Mr F.C. Stoop and from Federated Homes. 

Are there any restrictive covenants on the land? 

SCC has also commissioned a detailed Title report from independent solicitors. On the information available to the Council, no restrictive covenants either for the benefit of the children of Sanway or otherwise have been found, that would prevent use of the site by SCC for the proposed purpose.  

Why are you not putting a school on this plot?  

There are sufficient school places in the local area.  

How can you justify a three-storey building in a residential area where no other buildings are more than two stories high? 

There is the need to provide five en-suite bedrooms with no more than two per floor, plus space to socialize on the ground floor. The top floor of the townhouses is effectively in the attic space, so the new development is in keeping with the heights of nearby buildings. 

Where will the access road be?

The access road will be from Magdalen Crescent, using the former school’s access, and there will be considerably less traffic than when the school was operational 

Once any construction does eventually start, is it possible to temporally move the site entrance away from Magdalen Crescent for the lager construction vehicles that will be expected to be arriving on site during construction? 

All matters regarding construction will be discussed with the relevant authorities and incorporated into the construction traffic management plan. 

Please can you tell us more about the security needs of this development? Why is there a potential need for security, what hours and who will operate this? 

This is to do with the security of the residents in their own home. Provisions will include, for example, security lighting and a doorbell with video connectivity for residents to check who is at the front door 

I appreciate the use of bricks to blend into the surrounding buildings however the buildings you have proposed are a completely different style so actually wont blend in at all?

The designers have selected bricks in colours to complement local brickwork on existing homes in the area.  

In the plans, the south east quarter of the plot seems to have no information on what will be there. Can you explain how this area will be used?  

We are investigating the provision of a community facility. 

Has thought been given to moving the rear building nearer St Mary's so that it leaves greater privacy/ space between the building and Magdalen Crescent? 

The location of the apartment building is central within the plot and well away from the boundary with the adjoining property. As the boundary hedging is to be maintained/enhanced the privacy of the adjacent property is unaffected.  

If SCC is so keen on its green agenda, why is the site being built on? Should it not be turned into a small wood/copse where local children can play? 

Surrey’s Vision for 2030 includes “Everyone has a place they can call home, with appropriate housing for all”. There is an established need for housing for people with learning disabilities in the Borough of Woking. Playgrounds and open spaces are already available locally. The landscape design has additional trees, hedging and other planting to maximise biodiversity on the site. 

Can you clarify the design and intended use of the town houses - will the houses be SIL as well? 

The townhouses will be SIL as well and will cater for five residents each.  

Where do we stand on compensation for our lost house values on Magdalen Crescent and Close? 

There are a number of circumstances under which a property owner may claim for loss of value; but it does not appear that the development is a valid reason for such a claim. 

How can further building of any sort be justified when the local NHS infrastructure is already broken and unable to support the current community?  

The residents with specialist health needs will have a dedicated health team, separate from the local GP surgeries. The residents will have annual health checks so that they will be less likely to need to call on local GP support.  

How will you ensure that construction traffic does not block the road, houses etc in Magdalen Crescent?  

The selected contractor will need to register the site with the Considerate Constructor Scheme and comply with their code of considerate practice. The contractor will also have to develop a Construction Traffic Management Plan for the development, which has to be approved by the Planning Authority.

Who will be responsible for maintaining the gardens? 

The plan is to appoint an estate manager for the development and to encourage residents to participate in gardening as a leisure and wellbeing activity to help maintain them as well.  

Badgers move through the site. Will the fences provide safe passage for them too? 

Our ecologists have established that the badger setts identified on the site are not in use. However, the existing hedgerows will be retained and enhanced, allowing continued movement for wildlife.

You talk about controlling stimulation levels. With this in mind why have you put activity areas on plot 4 of the landscaping plan which is closest to the houses on Magdalen Crescent? 

The area was selected for recreational gardening in raised beds. This was not anticipated to be an activity that would generate noise. Further consideration will be given to siting each of the various garden activities in the most suitable location. 

What are the specific needs of the residents? Are they ex-alcoholics or ex-drug users? 

The residents will have learning disabilities and/or autism and require care and support to help them to live independently. They will not be former drug addicts or alcoholics.  

Everything you are saying is about the health and well-being of the residents living in this new build not us, existing residents who have built this community and are at the heart of it. 

Surrey’s Vision for 2030 includes: Communities are welcoming and supportive, especially of those most in need, and people feel able to contribute to community life. The new residents will also be at the heart of the community.


<< Previous: Sustainability Explore more   >>