Frequently asked questions

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 Elmbridge as an area of need for affordable provision of Supported Independent Living, with total demand 2021-2026 estimated to be 26-50 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 12 residents in two new low rise buildings, each providing six flats and a communal lounge.

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 Anyards Road, Portsmouth Road and Oakfield Road will be 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.

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.

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


Will there be any proposed signage at the entrance on Anyards Road? 

The new signage will be less prominent than the original signage on Anyards Road.  

Where is it proposed that will bins be kept? 

A small outbuilding will house the refuse and bike stores.  

How many car parking spaces are proposed to be along the border with 131 Anyards Road? 

We are proposing four car parking spaces alongside the internal access road but there will be planting between the car parking spaces and the boundary to 131 Anyards Road.

Will new pavements be required at either side of the entrance on Anyards road? 

The pavements are outside the site boundary and no new pavements are envisaged in the current proposals 

Will the street light in the current site that is adjoining the border with 131 Anyards be removed and not replaced? 

The street light on the footpath between Coveham Hostel and No. 131 Anyards Road is outside the site boundary and will not be affected by the works. The streetlight that illuminates the existing building entrance and car park will be removed during construction and we anticipate it will be replaced with low-level lighting.  

How is it proposed that cars will be kept from parking on the path adjoining 131 Anyards road? 

There are no changes planned to the existing parking restrictions on the public highway. There will be parking on-site.  

Will any car parking spaces be lost in Anyards Road? 

No parking spaces will be lost on Anyards Road as a result of the proposed development of Coveham Hostel.  

Will you be considering keeping the car parking spaces where they are in Coveham as opposed to chopping down the apple tress and reducing the privacy of 131 Anyards road? 

The location of the car parking has been determined by the need to retain and protect the ancient oak. The current car parking is in the root protection zone of the oak tree and new parking has been positioned to avoid it. The proposed boundary treatments will maintain the privacy of 131 Anyards Road. 

Where are the existing residents of Oakfield Road expected to park? Will they be offered free parking spaces on the Coveham site? 

At the moment there is a green verge to the rear of the former hostel where local residents are parking illegally, as the area belongs to the council. The land will be absorbed into the site when the hoarding is erected and those parking spaces will no longer exist.  

What measures are being taken to ensure there is no subsidence damage to neighbouring buildings? 

Vibration monitoring and recording equipment will be put in place at the site boundary. This equipment automatically warns the site staff if any vibration occurs during construction works which approaches the threshold where there is potential to cause damage to adjoining buildings.   

Your plan shows a light coloured brickwork, which is not in keeping with the Victorian houses in Anyards Road.  You said the brickwork 'matches' current housing. 

We are looking to complement the existing housing and matching the exact appearance of the Victorian building may look incongruous on a building designed in the twenty-first century. We will choose a colour palette that will blend in with the local area.  

How will noise and dust be minimised during the demolition and build? Which exit will be used for demolition removal? What are the proposed days and hours for demolition and construction work to take place? 

The Contractor will be required to register the site with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and adhere to the Code of Considerate Practice, in addition to the specific requirements of SCC in relation to hours of work. A Construction Traffic Management Plan for the site will be submitted as part of the Planning Application or will be a condition of planning approval so that access routes etc. are clearly defined.   

When does the planning application go in, and when do any comments or objections need to be placed on the council's website? 

We cannot be specific as we need to take the time to take onboard the comments from the consultation and feed these into the design proposals. We anticipate that the formal application will be submitted four to six weeks after the pre-application consultation finishes. Then the formal council consultation will take place, and this will be publicised on our consultation website.  

Having had both consultations do you now consider any changes will be made? 

We will consider all comments and make changes where we can. 

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