Design and Access Statements

A Design and Access Statement is a report accompanying and supporting an application for planning permission or Listed Building Consent that explains the design thinking behind the proposal.


The report should show that the applicant has thought carefully about how everyone, including the disabled, elderly and very young will be able to use the development once built.

The aim of a Design and Access Statement is to aid the provision of high quality development and to encourage better informed negotiation and decision-making.

The level of detail in a Design and Access Statement should be proportionate to the complexity of the application and need not be very long. For most straightforward planning applications, it may only need to be a page long.

The statement should address the following:

  • The design process - explain the design principles and concepts;
  • Amount of development - how much will be built on site number of units/floor space;
  • Use - what buildings and spaces will be used for;
  • Layout - how the buildings, private/public spaces are to be arranged on site and their relationship;
  • Scale - how big the buildings and spaces will be in terms of their height/ width /length;
  • Appearance - details of materials/architectural details;
  • Landscaping - treatment of private and public spaces hard and soft landscaping;
  • Access - access to the development to ensure equal and convenient access to buildings and spaces and the public transport network and access for emergency services where relevant.

When is a Design and Access Statement required?

A Design and Access Statement must be submitted as part of the following applications:

  • Planning Permission for major development;
  • Planning Permission for development in a Conservation Area consisting of the provision of one or more dwelling houses or the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space created is 100 square metres or more;
  • Applications for Listed Building Consent.

Please note that the application will not be validated if a Design and Access Statement is not submitted when one is required.

More information can be found on the Planning Portal - Design and Access Statements