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Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy PSU 7 People with Disabilities

Policy PSU 7 People with Disabilities
This Policy has been superseded by: PPS 3-Access, Movement and Parking
The needs of people with disabilities will be taken into consideration by measures to create an accessible environment and in the determination of planning applications for the development of buildings to which the public have access.
Careful design of the pedestrian environment is particularly important for people with disabilities. Poorly maintained pavements constitute obstacles and are dangerous to everyone. Street furniture that clutters the footway and poorly located landscape features can be a hazard to people with a visual impairment. Crossing roads is made easier by the installation of tactile surfaces to locate the crossings.
The aim is not just the availability of access, but its quality, and the integration of access in all aspects of design. Such a design approach will also benefit all through a better thought out, easier and more accessible environment.
The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (NI) Act 1978 requires developers of specified types of buildings to provide suitable means of access, parking and toilet facilities to meet the needs of people with disabilities, where practicable and reasonable. The types of building to which the Act applies are those open to the public (such as shops, restaurants, hotels, places of entertainment, leisure and community buildings), places of employment and education buildings i.e. - most types of buildings other than those for residential use - see also Policy DES 2.
It will be expected that comprehensive access facilities will be incorporated in completely new developments, including extensions, as a matter of good design practice. In the case of existing buildings to be altered or refurbished, there will be a presumption that disabled access and facilities will be incorporated as far as possible. In the case of historic buildings, the incorporation of facilities needs to be considered with regard to safeguarding character and special architectural interest.
Guidance for developers is given in the Department's published Development Control Advice Note 11 entitled Access for People with Disabilities.
This Advice Note was revised in July 2003 in a Public Consultation Draft entitled Development Control Advice Note 11 - Access for All: Designing for an Accessible Environment.
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