DCAN 11(Draft): Access for all - Designing for an Accessible Environment
5.0 Planning Policy
5.1 The Department assesses development proposals against all planning policies and other material considerations that are relevant. The main policy considerations relating to accessibility and the built environment are set out in the following documents.
Regional Development Strategy
5.2 The Regional Development Strategy provides an overarching strategic context for the preparation of planning policy and development plans. It sets new directions to achieve a more sustainable pattern of development and desires a more cohesive society based on equality of opportunity and inclusivity of all individuals in our society.
5.3 As part of Strategic Planning Guideline ENV 6.4, the Strategy seeks to:
“Promote the creation of built environments which are supportive to good health and meet the needs of all age groups, men and women, and the particular needs of disabled persons.”
Planning Policy Statement 3: Access, Movement and Parking
5.4 PPS 3: Access, Movement and Parking published for public consultation in December 2002 sets out the Department’s main planning policies that seek to facilitate improved accessibility for all, and ensure that the specific needs of people with impaired mobility are taken into account in assessing development proposals.
5.5 Policy AMP 1 ‘Creating an Accessible Environment’ acknowledges that the integration of good access in all aspects of design will benefit everyone in society through a better thought out, easier and more accessible environment.
It states that:
“All development proposals should be designed to help create an accessible environment taking account of the specific needs of people with impaired mobility.
Where development involves buildings open to the public, or buildings to be used for employment or education purposes, these will only be permitted where they are designed to provide suitable access for everyone, including people with impaired mobility, as customers, visitors and employees.
Where appropriate the design and layout of development proposals will be required to incorporate all or some of the following:
- Facilities to aid access for people with impaired mobility, including ramps, dropped kerbs and tactile paving, together with the removal of any unnecessary obstructions;
- Convenient movement along pathways and an unhindered approach to buildings;
- Pedestrian priority to facilitate pedestrian movement within and between land uses; and
- Ease of access to public transport facilities and taxi ranks.”
5.6 Policy AMP 7 ‘Parking and Servicing in New Development’ deals with the parking and servicing arrangements associated with development proposals and includes a requirement for the provision of dedicated parking provision for people with disabilities. It advises:
“…… In all cases (where car parking is provided) the Department will require a proportion of car parking spaces to be provided and reserved for people with disabilities in accordance with best practice1.
Where a reduced standard of provision for car parking is applied or accepted, the Department will not normally permit the number of spaces to be provided for people with disabilities to be reduced.”
5.7 Early consultation with the Department prior to submitting a planning application, and following the advice in this document, should ensure compliance with the Department’s policies.
1 This document provides the Department’s guidance on best practice for reserved parking (see para 6.1).