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Design and access statements

A design and access statement is a short report which accompanies and supports a planning application.  The level of detail required within the report should be proportionate to the scale and complexity of the proposal.

Which developments require a design and access statement

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If you would like to find out which types of development require a design and access statement please read the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) (Amendment) Order 2013 No. 1238, which contains a detailed list, and the Associated notes

There are two areas that a design and access statement should cover:

The Design

The statement should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied and include information on amount, layout, scale, landscaping and appearance.  The design and access statement must also show an awareness of the context within which the development will sit and how this has influenced the proposal.

The Access

The design and access statement should explain how any users will have easy and equal access to the development.  Where relevant, access for emergency vehicles should be included.

When submitting a Listed Building application, where both planning permission and Listed Building consent is required, only one joint design and access statement is necessary.  It should include all of the information that would normally be required in a design and access statement but should also address how the historic character and setting of the building have been considered in the design.

The government has produced detailed Planning Practice Guidance on what a design and access statement should contain and when one should be submitted.

The Government's design adviser, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), has produced guidance on Design and access statements - how to read, write and use them.