Design and access statements

A tool to help local planning authorities decide whether a development is high-quality and makes a positive contribution to an area.

Adapted home, London

A home adapted for a wheelchair user. Photo by Alys Tomlinson.

Design and access statements help planning authorities and communities understand the rationale of the design, how it responds to local context and whether it improves the character, quality and functioning of an area.

Local planning authorities can require that design and access statements address local issues. Planning applicants should contact their local planning authority to discuss local requirements and processes.

Guidance on changes to the development control system (DCLG circular 01/06) sets out what needs to be included in a design and access statement. Statements should consider design issues and how development can create accessible and safe environments, including addressing crime and disorder and fear of crime.

Useful resources

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

Practical advice on getting the best from statements to help deliver well-designed, inclusive places.

Writing a design and access statement (FAQ)

Answers to questions about when a statement is required, when it should be produced and what level of detail should be supplied.

Assessing a design and access statement (FAQ)

Answers to questions about how much detail a statement should contain and how they can be used to secure better quality places.