Damian Utton, director at the Altrincham-based design studio, has been selected to join a Government panel of experts tasked with exploring the topic of housing provision for people living with dementia.
The all-party parliamentary group is co-chaired by Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, and Lord Richard Best, a former director of social justice charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The group aims to work with local government leaders and experts from the field of later living, to consider possible changes to housing policy to better reflect the needs of people living with dementia.
Around 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, expected to rise to 1.6m by 2040, according to the charity Alzheimer’s Society. Two-thirds of those are living in their own accommodation, rather than in specialist residential care.
Utton joined Pozzoni Architecture in 1997. The firm is involved across a wide range of projects within the later living sector, involving designing inter-generational schemes, extra care facilities, retirement developments and care homes, many of which provide specialist accommodation for people living with dementia.
For example, work is due to restart on a £21m care village in Chester, designed by Pozzoni, after Seddon Construction agreed to take over the build from collapsed contractor Pochin Construction.
Meanwhile, a Pozzoni-designed 78-apartment extra care scheme in Saughall Massie, Wirral, is being built by Galliford Try on behalf of housing association Alpha Living. Work is expected to complete this year.
Utton said: “Dementia-friendly design, and in particular the design of housing, can have a positive effect on anyone’s health and wellbeing, not just people living with dementia. We all benefit from a built environment that is easy to understand and navigate.
“To ensure this country can provide the best environments for people living with dementia, we need to fully appreciate the current challenges.
“We would urge anyone with experience or insight on dementia to help bolster our understanding by feeding into this inquiry.”