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What are the benefits of preparing a Design and Access Statement at the beginning of a project?

In the UK, an access statement is a mechanism used by local authorities to explain how accessibility within a scheme will be addressed, where planning permission is sought. It usually describes how the scheme meets the needs of its potential users.

The European Commission has recently indicated that the use of design and access statements has been observed in the UK as a useful tool to ensure that accessibility/Universal Design is appropriately addressed through the various stages of briefing, design, construction, post-completion and post-occupancy.

Although the requirement to provide an access statement has not been formally introduced in Ireland, it is seen as a useful mechanism and tool to ensure accessibility is mainstreamed into all stages of projects.

According to the National Disability Authority (Building for Everyone Planning and Policy Document, 2012) “An access statement is a development management mechanism, used to explain and justify the approach to access within the scheme that is being applied for and how the design of the scheme responds to the needs of all potential users. They are especially important for large-scale projects so that the applicant can demonstrate how accessibility has been taken into account”.

The following are some of the benefits of having access statement for projects:

If you would like further information on access statements, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01-4151285 or [email protected].