Since 1st April 2015 applications which either meet the determination of a major development or are located within a designated area (i.e. a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), a world heritage site and an are of townscape/or even village character) and are for the provision of 1 or more houses or buildings where the floor space created by the development is 100sq metres or more now under Article 6 (2) of the Planning(General Development Procedure) Order 2015 the developer must provide a design and access statement.

Failure to provide this a design and access statement may potentially invalidate any subsequent grant of permission whether one has been requested by the appropriate planning authority or not.

DoE has prepared Development Management Practice Note 12 to guide planning officers and other agents  through the key requirements of a D&AS .

The guidance recommends the following design process:

  • Assess: appraise the context of the site and its surroundings, with consideration of Physical, Historic, Social and Economic characteristics with consideration of Departmental Policies and Local Development Plans (LDPs)
  • Engage: demonstrate what groups and organisations you have had engagement with (all major applications will require evidence of community involvement) and show how these considerations have informed the proposal
  • Evaluate: consider all the information collated in the assessment and engagement stage and evaluate the opportunities and constraints to help resolve any conflicting issues, stating why decisions have been taken
  • Design: design the scheme informed by the context appraisal, consultation, and decisions made in the evaluation process, with reference to relevant policy, design advice and guidance. Good design proposals should contribute to or enhance a place, to make better spaces for the user and public alike
  • Maintain: ensure the continuing maintenance and stewardship aspects of the development are considered over the lifetime of the scheme.


The full Development Management Practice Note 12 document can be viewed below in the attached link.

Development Management Practice Note 12

Whether requested by a Council to provide one, more developers/agents should perhaps be advising their Clients to provide one for all applications that meet the criteria for a design and access statement.


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