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Design & Access Statements

From the 25 June 2013, the requirements for Design and Access Statements changed. They will only be required with a planning application provided it is for:

  • Major Development;
  • Listed Building Consents
  • Development in a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site consisting of -
    • the provision of one or more dwelling houses; or
    • the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space created by the development is 100m2 or more.

Design and Access Statements are not required for:

  • Development without complying with conditions of an existing permission and made under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;
  • Extending the life of a planning permission granted on or before 1 October 2009;
  • Engineering and mining operations;
  • Material change of use; or
  • Waste Development.

Sometimes photos, maps and drawings may be needed to further illustrate the points made. Design and Access Statements will be available alongside the application for anyone to see, so should avoid jargon or overly technical language.

It is important that they are written specifically for the application they accompany. They need not be very long, but the amount of detail they contain should reflect how complex the application is. So, a statement for a major development is likely to be much longer than one for a single building.

Content Requirements for Planning Applications

A Design and Access Statement should be about:

  • The design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development; and
  • How issues relating to access to the development have been dealt with.

A Design and Access Statement shall:

  • Explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development;
  • Demonstrate the steps taken to appraise the context of the development and how the design of the development takes that context into account;
  • Explain the policy adopted as to access, and how policies relating to access in relevant local development documents have been taken into account;
  • State what, if any, consultation has been undertaken on issue relating to such consultation; and
  • Explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the development have been addressed.
Content Requirements for Listed Building Applications

A Design and Access Statement shall explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to take account of:

  • The special architectural or historic significance of the building;
  • The particular physical features of the building that justify its designation as a listed building;
  • The building's setting.

Other than where works affect only the interior of a listed building, the Design and Access Statement shall also:

  • Explain the policy adopted as to access, including what alternative means of access have been considered, and how policies relating to access in relevant local development documents have been taken into account;
  • State what, if any, consultation has been undertaken and what account has been taken of the outcome of any such consultation;
  • Explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the building have been addressed; and
  • Explain how the policy as to access takes account of -
    • the special architectural or historic importance of the building;
    • the particular physical features of the building that justify its designation as a listed building; and
    • the building's setting.

N.B. It is likely that for applications in or affecting Conservation Areas or Listed Buildings you will also be required to submit a Heritage Statement. More information on Heritage Statements can be found here.

More Information

More information to help produce quality Design and Access Statements is available below.