Design and access statement

A design and access statement is a report showing the process that led to a development proposal. It explains the design approach and how access provision for disabled people has been considered. It includes drawings and plans to show how issues have been considered.

For accessibility issues, a design and access statement also explains how all users will have equal and convenient access including:

  • access for pedestrians, cars and public transport
  • movement around a site
  • access to and from a building, or the use of an open space
  • the design of new housing, the plot and location


You must include a design and access statement if you meet the following criteria:

  • For major planning applications that are:
    • residential applications for 10 or more houses or 0.5 hectares when the number of houses is unknown
    • non-residential applications for 1,000 or more square metres floor area or one or more hectares site area
  • Developments taking place in a conservation area or world heritage site:
    • when a building has cubic content greater than 100 cubic metres (measured externally)
    • when an extended building has floor space greater than 100 square metres
  • An application for listed building consent

Developers will be required to show proposals that are consistent with the limits, plans, and ideas in the design and access statement.

When a statement is not required

A design and access statement is not required for:

  • an application to develop land when you agree to meet conditions attached to an existing planning approval
  • an application for engineering or mining operations
  • an application for waste development
  • a material change in the use of land or buildings (unless for operational developments)
  • extending time to carry out a planning permission
  • an application for prior approval, for example agricultural or telecoms prior approval
  • an application for a non-material amendment to a planning permission
  • an application for reserved matters

More information

We recommend the below guidance and documents when writing your design and access statement.