Design and Access Statements
The Government has introduced the need for Design and Access Statements (DAS) for all Planning applications and Listed Building Consent applications received from 10 August 2006, except for:
- material changes of use, unless it involves operational development
- engineering or mining operations
- development of an existing dwelling, unless in a Conservation Area
What are Design and Access Statements?
Design and Access Statements explain the design thinking behind a planning application. eg they show that the applicant has thought carefully about how everyone, including the disabled, older people and young children will be able to use the places they want to build. In essence a DAS needs to explain and justify proposals in a concise informed way. Its length and content will vary with the complexity of the proposal. It is not a substitution for the normal drawings submission but can include illustrative material to support the proposal.
The DAS should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposal, namely;
- the amount of building
- its layout
- its scale
- its landscaping
- its appearance
- accessibility and inclusivity
The Statement should be based on the following methodology
- Assessment of site and wider area
- Involvement of the community and Local Planning Authority
- Evaluation of information collected
- Design using 1-3.
The DAS does not extend to internal arrangements for individual buildings but should explain how access arrangements will ensure that all users will have equal and convenient access to buildings and spaces, parking and the public transport network. It should also demonstrate how the design includes access for emergency services.
Listed building consent applications will need careful analysis in the DAS to ensure the historic and special architectural importance of the building, the significance of the features of the listed building and its setting are properly assessed in relation to the proposal.
In essence the London Borough of Richmond expects all proposals to be of the highest Design Standards that respond to their context and are accessible to all.
Planning and Listed Building Consent applications will not be validated until the Design and Access Statement is submitted.
The Government and this Local Planning Authority encourage DAS at the pre-application stage to assist in the interpretation of proposals.
Further details and assistance
For more detailed information on the explanation, content, preparation and presentation of an DAS please refer to:
Communities and Local Government Circular 01/2006 ‘Guidance on Changes to the Development Control System’ www.communities.gov.uk/planning
- Department for Communities and Local Government Circular 01/2006 ‘Guidance on Changes to the Development Control System’
- C.A.B.E.’s publication Design and Access Statement
- Unitary Development Plan First Review Policies STG 1 and BLT 12
- Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council Supplementary Planning Document ‘Design Quality’