Planning Portal

DCAN 4: Restaurants, Cafes and Fast Food Outlets
Provision for people with disabilities

5.23 The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 gives disabled people new rights in a number of areas including access to goods, facilities and services, and the Act will require physical alteration to premises by October 2004.
5.24 The suitability of access to buildings for use by the public, which includes people with disabilities, is a matter of public interest and is a material planning consideration. Furthermore, the Department would draw the attention of applicants to the need to satisfy the provisions of Disability 15 Discrimination Act 1995 Opens link in a new browser window, and the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (Northern Ireland) Act 1978.
5.25 Private transport is the preferred travel mode for many people with impaired mobility. Therefore, where appropriate, conditions will be attached to the grant of planning permission requiring development, whether new development or a change of use of an existing building, to provide the following in order to facilitate people with impaired mobility:
  • suitable means of access to the building;
  • suitable means of access between buildings where the planning application relates to more than one building;
  • appropriately designed means of access to the building from other parts of the development, such as external car parks; and
  • an appropriate proportion of designated, appropriately positioned, designed and sized car parking spaces (where new provision is required).
5.26 In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to consider the following: -
  • the provision of a section of the counter within takeaway and selfservice restaurants at an appropriate height for wheelchair users; and -
  • the provision within cafés and restaurants of sufficient space around seating areas to allow for the movement of wheelchairs and the provision of some tables without permanent seating to accommodate wheelchairs.
5.27 Further guidance is set out in Policy PSU 7 ‘People with Disabilities’ contained in “A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland” (DOE 1993) and Development Control Advice Note No. 11 ‘Access for People with Disabilities’ available from Planning Service Headquarters.
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