Design and access statements

A Design and Access Statement is a short report accompanying and supporting a planning application that should seek to explain and justify the proposal in a structured way.

The council requires major planning applications, applications in conservation areas (over 100m2 or 1 dwelling), or those affecting a listed building (requiring Listed Building Consent) to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement (D&AS).

The level of detail required in your D&AS will depend on the scale and complexity of your proposed development and the length of the statement will vary accordingly.

Your D&AS should set out the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposed development and explain how issues relating to access have been dealt with. It should be proportionate to the complexity of the application, but need not be long.

All outline applications, whether they propose any matters of detail or not, will require a design and access statement:

  • if you include no matters of detail in your application, your statement should, nevertheless, explain what design principles are appropriate and how future detailed proposals could be arranged to comply with them. 
  • if you include some matters of detail (normally referred to as reserved matters) your statement should, in addition, explain how those details take account of the stated design principles and how the matters reserved for future consideration will be guided by them.
  • a plan showing the context of the site, sketches and photographs form useful parts of a D&AS.

Your statement will need to address the following issues:

  • the steps you have taken to appraise the context of the development and how your design takes that context into account in terms of the amount of development, its layout, scale, landscaping and appearance. In some cases such as in or around heritage assets such as a conservation area or a listed building this might include analysing in more detail the ‘significance’ of the heritage asset. This can be undertaken within the Design and Access section under a Heritage Statement heading for applications with minor heritage impact or as a separate Heritage Statement for applications with significant heritage impact. For more on this see design and conservation
  • how you have taken local relevant development plan design policies and guidance documents into account.
  • a summary of the consultation you have undertaken on access and design issues and what account you have taken of the outcomes.
  • the design principles and concepts that you have applied to aspects of the development including the amount, layout and scale of the development, its landscaping and its appearance.
  • how you have addressed specific issues to reduce the prospects of incidents of crime and disorder within the development.
  • how you have addressed sustainable construction requirements. How you have addressed specific issues that might affect access to the development.
  • how prospective users will be able to gain access to the development from the existing transport network and why you have chosen the main points of access to the site and the layout of access routes within the site.

Further guidance on preparing design and access statements can be found in the Design Council Cabe guide:

Design and access statements - How to write, read and use them
Download (842KB)

Links to good examples of design and access statements for major developments can be found at:

Further information

Contact:

Last updated: 23 July 2018 15:21:38