Design and Access Statements

What is a Design and Access Statement?

Many applications will have to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement. These are intended to aid the wider consideration of planning applications (both full and outline applications) and Listed Building applications. These Statements are described as "a short report accompanying and supporting a planning application to illustrate the process that has led to the development proposal, and to explain and justify the proposal in a structured way."

Are there any exceptions?

All applications will require a Statement except those which involve:

  • a change of use of land or buildings (provided that no works are involved);
  • engineering or mining operations;
  • development of an existing house or in the curtilage of a house BUT a Statement will be required if the house is in a Conservation Area, Site of Special Scientific Interest or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (there are other limitations that do not apply in this Council's area at present);
  • display of advertisements;
  • works to trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders;
  • storage of hazardous substances.
  • Where a Statement is required we must receive it fully completed before we can process the application. It is essential that you provide the necessary detail so that we can make a speedy decision. 

Where can further advice be found?

Further detailed advice can be obtained from the Department of Communities and Local Government website as follows:

General Procedure Amendment (Statutory Instrument - document 1)

Explanatory Memorandum for General Procedure Amendment (Explanatory Memorandum - document 2)

Guidance on changes to the Development Control system (Circular 01/2006 - document 3)

A "model" statement can be found at Annex A (P27) of document 2. You are advised to consider these documents carefully before submitting a statement. Guidance forms for typical Statements for outline applications and other types of applications. 

CABE (The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) also provides some helpful guidance.  

Printed copies are also available for inspection only at the Planning Reception.

What about an outline application?

It will be necessary to submit the following information with an outline planning application:

  • the use(s) proposed and the zones in which the uses are proposed to take place;
  • the amount of development (for each use);
  • indicative layout details (including separate zones where appropriate);
  • scale - upper and lower limits for height, width and length of each building;
  • indicative access points.

Without this information we will not be able to deal with your application. Guidance form to help in setting out this information. 

Once Outline planning permission has been granted, further details will require approval later. These are known as Reserved Matters, defined as:  

  • Layout
  • Scale
  • Appearance
  • Landscaping
  • Access

The application forms and notes have been revised to cover these changes - please complete the forms carefully as this will affect our ability to deal with your application.