Design and access statements

A design and access statement is required for many types of planning application - both full and outline - but there are exemptions.

A design and access statement should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to particular aspects of the proposal - these are the amount, layout, scale, landscaping and appearance of the development.

Design and access statements are documents that explain the design thinking behind a planning application. For example, they should show that the person applying for permission (the applicant) has thought carefully about how everyone, including disabled people, older people and very young children, will be able to use the places they want to build.

Demonstrating how the local context has influenced the design is also an important element. This should be discussed in relation to the scheme as a whole.

The requirement for the access component of the statement relates only to ‘access to the development’ and therefore should explain how the design ensures that all users will have equal and convenient access to it.

For most straightforward planning applications, the design and access statement may only need to be a page long, for more complex applications, more detail is likely to be necessary.

The Government has produced guidance on what a Design and Access Statement should contain and its role in the decision-making process.

If your application is in relation to a listed building, you will require a design and access statement. However due to the nature of the proposal, some additional information will be required.