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Design and access statements

A design and access statement is a short report which supports a planning application. 

The level of detail required within the report should match the scale and complexity of the proposal.

Developments which require a design and access statement

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) (Amendment) Order 2013 No. 1238, contains a detailed list of development types.  View further information on the Planning Portal

What the statements should include

The design and access statement covers the following two areas:

The design

The statement should :

  • explain the design principles and concepts
  • include information on:
    • amount
    • layout
    • scale
    • landscaping and
    • appearance. 
  • show an awareness of the context within which the development will sit and how this has influenced the proposal.

The access

The statement should explain how any users will have easy and equal access to the development.  Access for emergency vehicles should be included if relevant.

You only need submit one joint statement when submitting a Listed Building application where planning permission is also required.  It should include:

  • all of the information that would normally be required in a design and access statement and
  • address how the historic character and setting of the building have been considered in the design.

For more information on;

  • what a design and access statement should contain and
  • when one should be submitted.

Please view the planning practice guidance on the Government website.

Planning Practice Guidance

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), has produced guidance called 'Design and access statements - how to read, write and use them' below is a link to their pdf.

Design and access statements - how to read, write and use them

You can find advice on design quality, links to resources and information on the Cornwall Design Review Panel:

Design advice

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