LifeCare ruling is blow to retirement sector

Gondar Gardens, West Hampstead

London scheme rejected for not factoring ‘event fees’ into affordability calculation.

A planning inspector rejected LifeCare Residences’ plans for a £97m scheme comprising 81 ‘extra care’ flats and 15 care home beds in Gondar Gardens in West Hampstead, citing concerns about its impact on the environment and a lack of affordable housing provision.

Inspector Brendon Lyons’ conclusions on ‘event fees’ – charged when residents leave and used to help pay for services and amenities – are of particular concern for the industry. These fees, otherwise known as deferred management fees, have previously not been considered relevant to affordable housing calculations.