There is an urgent and growing need across the UK for cost effective accommodation and care for adults with a variety of disabilities.

The UK population is to increase beyond 70 million in the next 12 years, official projections suggest.

The Office for National Statistics said the population was expected to increase by 4.4 million in the next decade, before reaching 70 million in 2027.

That increase is roughly the size of the Irish Republic.

The population is projected to grow by 9.7 million over the next 25 years, to 74.3 million. Latest figures show there are 64.6 million people in the UK.

­The statistics predict an ageing population, with some 29.5% of people aged over 60 by 2039 ­ up from 23.2% this year.

­By then, more than one in 12 UK people are expected to be aged 80 or over.

­More than 300,000 disabled people are on housing waiting lists across Great Britain and around one in five people with a learning disability live in housing arrangements that need improving.

­In order to meet demand from the growing number of people with a learning disability, there would have to be an additional 1,324 registered care home places and 941 supported living places created every year until 2026.