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MK Council among first to publish planning blueprint for new ‘dementia friendly’ neighbourhoods

MK Council is set to become one of the first planning authorities to introduce a development framework to ensure new homes and communities are built to ‘dementia friendly’ standards.

As part of its commitment to make MK a ‘dementia friendly city’, the Council has produced a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to set out strict guidelines for developers, to ensure that they build new homes and communities that meet the needs of people living with dementia in the city.

MK Council is set to make a decision on 21 December to launch an eight-week public consultation on the draft SPD, and is encouraging local people, organisations and partners to have their say.

Some of the features of a ‘dementia friendly’ neighbourhood include accessible housing schemes within a short distance of local amenities and public transport, streets and footpaths that are easy to navigate, as well as clear signage and sensory public gardens.

The Council has worked closely with local partners to put together the document including the Dementia Pathway Improvement Group, which involves representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society, the NHS and CCG, as well as commissioners and providers of local dementia services.

More than 1,600 people are currently living with dementia in Milton Keynes, and that figure is expected to rise to more than 4,000 by 2030. As part of its ‘dementia friendly’ efforts, the Council recently signed a partnership agreement with the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver a range of grassroots community projects and initiatives. It’s also recruited two Admiral Nurses from Dementia UK to provide specialist support to families and professionals in MK looking after a loved one with dementia.

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