Design and Access Statements
As of the 25th June 2013 the requirement to submit a Design and Access Statement with a planning application has been significantly reduced by the effects of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure)(England)(Amendment) Order 2013.
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 only required for the following all planning applications :-
a) development which is a major development (for example for 10 or more dwellings, a site area of 0.5 hectare where the number of dwellings is not specified or where more than 1,000 sq.m floorspace is to be built);
b) where any part of the development is in a designated area (this is a Conservation Area or a property on the World Heritage List), development consisting of –
(i) the provision of 1 or more dwellinghouses; or
(ii) the provision of a building or buildings where the floorspace created is 100 sq.m or more.
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?
• 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.
What should a Design and Access Statement include?
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
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;
The statement shall explain the context in which a development is set and how the proposal responds to that context. It shall also explain the policy adopted to access and how policies relating to access in local development documents have been taken into account. It shall state what consultations relating to access have been undertaken and how the proposal responds to the outcome of any such consultations; and explain how specific issues that might affect the development have been addressed.
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.
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.
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