Planning Portal

DCAN 15: Vehicular Access Standards

1.1 The Department’s Planning Policy Statement 3 “Development Control: Roads Considerations” (PPS3) refers to the Department’s standards for vehicular accesses. This Development Control Advice Note (DCAN) sets out and explains those standards.
1.2 A well-designed access is important for the safety and convenience of all road users - those proceeding on the public road as well as those using the access. So, when the Department considers proposals for a new access or the intensification of use of an existing access, it will normally have a number of requirements to promote safety and avoid excessive delay, as indicated in the Department’s PPS 3: “Development Control: Roads Considerations1”. Intensification is considered to occur when a proposed development would increase the traffic flow using an access by 5% or more.
1.3 The Department’s normal requirements for vehicular accesses which apply in Northern Ireland are set out in this Advice Note which supersedes the 1983 publication “Access Standards” and DCAN 15 “Vehicular Access Standards” issued in March 1999. However, access is one factor among many - albeit a very important factor - which the Department has to consider when dealing with planning applications. Even if the standards set out in this Note are met, planning permission may still be refused on Main Traffic Routes as defined in PPS 3: “Development Control: Roads Considerations” or for non-access reasons such as visual amenity, land use or protection of the natural and built environment. On the other hand, in exceptional circumstances, a relaxation to the normal access standards may be accepted as indicated in tables A & B in order to secure other important planning objectives.Proposals likely to prejudice road safety will not be approved.
1.4 It is not the Department’s policy to grant planning permission for development involving the creation of an access and/or visibility splays,unless the applicant is able to demonstrate control or the reasonable prospect of acquiring control of any land likely to be the subject of a condition relating to the provision of any such access and/or visibility splays. Further advice is given in PPS 3, para. 13.
1.5 The requirements set out in this DCAN apply to new private accesses and new development access roads joining the public road. Throughout this DCAN the access is referred to as the minor road and the public road which it joins is called the priority road. For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that all internal junctions within new potentially adoptable housing developments are covered by separate Departmental guidance on the design and layout of residential developments.
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