Design and Access Statements
As of the 10th August 2006, most applications for planning permission need to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement. Section 327A of the amended Town and Country Planning Act 1990 expressly prohibits the District Planning Authority from entertaining a planning application unless such a statement is included. These rules have been amended by new legislation effective 6 April 2010.
When is a Design and Access Statement required?
Applications for Listed Building Consent must always
be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement regardless of their designation. Where there is a planning application submitted in parallel with an application for Listed Building Consent, a single, combined statement should address the requirements of both.
Design and Access Statements are required for all planning applications, with the following exceptions:
- engineering or mining operations;
- development of an existing dwellinghouse, or development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse, where no part of that dwellinghouse or curtilage is within a conservation area;
- a material change in the use of land or buildings, unless it also involves operational development;
- extensions to the time limits for implementing existing planning permissions;
- development of an existing flat for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the flat as such, where no part of that flat is within a conservation area;
- the extension of an existing building used for non-domestic purposes where the floorspace created by the development does not exceed 100 square metres and where no part of the building or the development is within a conservation area;
- the erection, construction, improvement or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure, up to 2m high or the height of the existing means of enclosure, whichever is the higher, where no part of the building or the development is within a conservation area or the curtilage of a listed building;
- development on operational land consisting of the erection of a building or structure up to 100 cubic metres in volume and 15m in height and where no part of the development is within a conservation area;
- the alteration of an existing building where the alteration does not increase the size of the building and where no part of the building or the development is within a conservation area;
- the erection, alteration or replacement of plant or machinery where, as a result of the development, the height of the plant or machinery would not exceed the greater of 15 metres above ground level, or the height of the original plant or machinery, and where no part of the development is within a conservation area;
- development of land pursuant to section 73 (determination of applications to develop land without conditions previously attached) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Design and Access Statements are not required
for applications relating to advertisement control, tree preservation orders, storage of hazardous substances, prior approval for proposed development, or non-material amendments to existing planning permissions.
What is a Design and Access Statement?
Design and Access Statements are written submissions that explain the design thinking behind a planning application. They should show that the applicant has thought carefully about how everyone, including the disabled, elderly and very young will be able to use the places that the applicant wants to build.
The aim of Design and Access Statements is to aid the provision of high quality developments, and to encourage better informed negotiation and decision-making.
What should a Design and Access Statement do?
What should a Design and Access Statement include?
- Explain the design principles and concepts that have informed the development, and how access issues have been dealt with
- Ensure that design and access are not treated as entirely separate issues; each component should inform the other.
The statement should:
- Include a written description and justification of a planning application. Sometimes photographs, maps and drawings will also be included to illustrate the perceived benefits of a scheme further. They do not replace the need for the usual plans and drawings that are currently required.
- Avoid jargon and overly technical language
- Relate specifically to the application that it accompanies
- Reflect the complexity of the proposal contained in the application. For example, a statement for a rear conservatory will be far shorter and much more concise than for a proposal to construct several new dwellings.
The ‘Design’ component of the statement should address the following issues:
- Amount (i.e. how much development is being proposed);
- Appraising the context (ie how local context has influenced the design).
The ‘Access’ component of the statement should address the following access issues:
- Emergency service access;
- Disabled access;
- Vehicular access;
Design and Access Statements for Listed Building Consent applications will take largely the same format as those for standard planning applications, although in addition they should include the following:
- The historic and special architectural interest of the building
- The particular physical features of the building that justify its designation as a listed building
- The building's setting.
A Design and Access Statement relating to a Listed Building will need to explain and justify the approach to ensuring that the listed building preserves or enhances its special historic or architectural importance.
Circular 01/06 states that it is acceptable for applicants to submit Design and Access Statements electronically, however the decision lies with the District Planning Authority as to whether or not we are willing to accept them in this format.
Design and Access Statements for Outline Applications:
Design and Access Statements for Outline Applications will be less detailed than that for a full application. However applicants will still be required to provide details of:
- What the building(s) are to be used for
- How many buildings there will be
- Rough layout
- Minimum and maximum building sizes
- Entrances to the site
The applicant should take steps to explain and justify decisions that have been taken so far but more importantly they should seek to clarify the principles that will be followed once the details are designed.
Further information on Design and Access Statements can be downloaded at the Department for Communities and Local Government website,
(Opens new window to communities) Another very useful point of reference is the CABE guide
, 'Design and Access Statements: How to read, write and use them'.
The changes to the legislation effective 6 April 2010 can be viewed at
(Opens new window to external site)
If you can’t find the information that you are looking for on any of the planning pages, please contact us on:
01895 837283, 01895 837293 and 01895 837314