Some tips for a Design and Access Statement
The statement needs to address the questions set out below.
- Does the statement show the applicant has assessed the site’s full context, including physical, social, and economic characteristics and relevant planning policies?
- Has the applicant demonstrated how they have taken account of the results of any community involvement?
- Does the statement show that the scheme has emerged from a rigorous process of assessment, involvement, evaluation and design, rather than trying to retrospectively justify a pre-determined solution?
- Would the application help to create an appropriate mix of uses in the area?
- Would different uses work together well or would they cause unacceptable annoyance?
- Is the density appropriate?
- Could the neighbourhood’s services support the amount of development planned?
- Do all spaces have a purpose?
- Will public spaces be practical, safe, overlooked and inclusive?
- Will private spaces be adaptable, secure and inviting?
- Will the buildings sit comfortably with their surroundings?
- Will they, and parts like doors and windows, be of a comfortable scale for people?
- Has landscaping been properly considered from the start?
- Will it help to make the place look good and work well, and will it meet any specific aims for the site?
- How will the development visually relate to its surroundings?
- Will it look attractive?
- Will the place be safe and easy for everyone to move around?
- What are the vehicular and transport links and why have the access points and routes been chosen?
- How does the site relate to road layout and public transport provision?
- How can everyone get to and move through the place on equal terms, regardless of ethnicity or social grouping?
- Does the approach to access run through the whole document, rather than being considered as a discreet issue?
- Has the applicant clearly described their policy approach and consultation process, whether carried out or planned?
Statements for householder applications
A Design and Access statement is only if the dwelling is in a conservation area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Statements for listed building applications
When a planning application is submitted in parallel with an application for Listed Building Consent, a single, combined statement should address the requirements of both.
Where there is no parallel planning application, information on use, amount and landscaping is not required. Otherwise, scale, layout and appearance are broadly the same as set out above.
In addition, Design and Access Statements accompanying applications for listed building consent should include a brief explanation of how the design has taken account of:
- The historic and special architectural importance of the building
- The particular physical features of the building that justifies its designation as a listed building
- The building’s setting
The statement should explain and justify the approach to ensuring that the listed building preserves or enhances it special architectural importance. Where an aspect of design may impact on this, the statement should explain why this is necessary and what measures have been taken to minimise the impact.
Listed Buildings - access
The access component of the statement is broadly the same as for planning applications, but with reference to the special considerations for listed buildings set out above.
The statement should explain how the approach to access balances the duties imposed by the Disability Discrimination Act (where applicable) with the historical and architectural significance of the building. The statement should detail any specific issues which arise because the building is listed, the range of options considered and, where inclusive design cannot be provided, an explanation as to why should be given. Where the structure of the listed building restricts ability to carry out alterations to meet minimum levels of accessibility, the statement should give details of solutions that will be put in place to minimise the impact on disabled people and ensure that any services provided within the building are made available in other ways.