Design and access statements

A design and access statement is a short report accompanying and supporting a planning application that should seek to explain and justify the proposal in a structured way. 

Design and access statements are mandatory for applications for listed building consent where works affecting the exterior are proposed. They are also required for both full and outline planning permission applications which relate to any of the following:

  • Major developments
  • Development within a conservation area or World Heritage site which includes:
    • The provision of one or more dwellinghouses
    • The provision of other buildings where the floor space created is 100 m2 or more

A design and access statement will not be required if the application is for:

  • A material change of use of the land or buildings only
  • Engineering or mining operations only
  • Development which is waste development only
  • Demolition an unlisted building in a Conservation Area only
  • Variation or removal of conditions
  • An extension of time
  • A Lawful Development Certificate for either an existing or a proposed use 
  • Approval of Reserved Matters
  • Advertisement consent
  • A Non-material amendment to an existing permission
  • Approval of details Reserved by Condition
  • Prior Notification of any kind
  • Trees - TPO's and trees within a Conservation Area
  • An application for Hedgerow Removal

Where one is needed, the level of detail required in a Design and Access Statement will depend on the type, scale and complexity of the application and the length of the statement will vary accordingly. A Design and Access Statement should be proportionate to the complexity of the application, but need not be long. 

Design and Access Statements submitted with applications for planning permission should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development, demonstrating how the context of the development has been appraised and how the design of the development takes that context into account. They should explain the approach the developer has taken to access to the development, how any specific issues which might affect access to the development have been addressed, how relevant policies from the Scarborough Local Plan relating to access have been taken into account, state what (if any) consultation has been undertaken on issues relating to access to the development and show what account has been taken of the outcome of any consultation. These requirements are found in Article 8 of the Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010.

Design and Access Statements submitted with applications for listed building consent should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the works and how those design principles and concepts take account of the special architectural or historic importance of the building, the particular physical features of the building that justify its designation as a listed building and the building’s setting. Where external alterations are proposed, it should also explain how issues relating to access to the building have been dealt with. These requirements are found in regulation 3A of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Regulations 1990.

Design and access statements for all applications

In all cases a Design and Access Statement should demonstrate how the proposal has evolved and been informed by a rigorous process. The statement must show how each of the following headings have been addressed:

  • Assessing the Site and its Context
  • Consultation
  • Evaluation your Findings
  • Developing and Explaining your Design
  • Community Safety

Further information required for Full Planning Application, Reserved Matters Application, Outline Application and Listed Building application types is available further down this page.

Assessing the site and its context

As each site is unique, the purpose of this part of the Statement is to demonstrate an understanding and explain what is special or distinctive about a site and its context by considering the following:

  • Physical Context - what the site and surrounding buildings look like
  • Social Context - how the proposed development may affect local people
  • Economic Context - how the proposals may affect the local economy
  • Planning Context - how the proposals respond to planning policies, both national and those found in the Scarborough Borough Local Plan

Consultation

It is important to discuss your development ideas with anyone who may be affected or may have an interest in your scheme, such as, neighbouring residents, adjacent landowners and interest groups.

This consultation may not need to be extensive, but must be relevant and undertaken as early as possible. Therefore this section should provide a summary of who has been consulted and the results of the consultation process.

Evaluating your findings

This stage is about looking at the findings from the first two parts and then assessing their significance. This part of the Statement must document what decisions have been taken and why, so that it is easy to see what the thought process has been, and if any other options have been considered or discounted.

Developing and explaining your design

The purpose of this part of the Statement is to understand and explain how the design and access proposed has positively responded to the site conditions and particularly how it reinforces the following issues:

  • Local Distinctiveness – how the development takes into account the special quality that makes a place different to others
  • Sustainability – all aspects of a new development should endeavour to be energy efficient and incorporate a sustainable approach to design, location, use and material used. All new developments should as a bare minimum aim to meet at least meet level of one of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
  • More Information on Sustainable Development see the Download at the bottom of this page.

Community safety

Proposals should demonstrate how the development incorporates the principles of crime prevention through design which is outlined in government guidance 'Safer Places: The Planning System and Crime Prevention'.

Design and access full applications

The size and complexity of a Statement will vary according to the type of development being proposed.

Alongside demonstrating the processes of formulating your proposal Full applications should cover:

Design

Design aspects of your statement should cover:

Use: including what the proposed buildings and spaces will be used for

Amount of Development: including how much development is proposed in terms of the number of units (residential) or floor area for each proposed use

Layout: including how the proposed buildings and spaces will be arranged on site and what their relationship will be with adjacent properties and spaces. For larger proposals, explain how issues such as crime prevention and relationships with public space will influence design

Scale: including what the dimensions of the proposed buildings are. Is the scale appropriate and will it sit comfortably with adjoining neighbours?

Appearance: What the building will look like. This should cover the architecture, materials and colour. Designs should be responsive to context and it should be explained how the appearance of the surrounding area and buildings have influenced the choice of design

Sustainability: including how the development would be energy efficient and embody the principles of sustainable development

Landscaping: Landscaping, including the treatment of public and private space with hard and soft landscaping to enhance the site, should be included in the overall design, and help to create a ‘sense of place’ in the development.

Climate change: applications should demonstrate how climate change mitigation (through the minimisation of energy consumption, efficient use of energy, and the supply of types of energy including from low-carbon and renewable sources to help reduce overall carbon emissions) and adaptation measures (to provide resilience to future climate impacts and how these have been considered in the design of the proposal

Access

Access aspects of your statement should cover:

Vehicular & Transport Links: including why certain access points have been chosen and how the site responds to the road layout and public transport provision. Emergency vehicle access together with pedestrian and cycle access will require consideration.

Inclusive Access: Does the proposed scheme ensure everyone has equal and convenient access to buildings, spaces and public transport regardless of age, disability, ethnicity or social grouping?

Design and access reserved matters applications

The size and complexity of a statement will vary according to the type of development being proposed.

Alongside demonstrating the processes of formulating your proposal Reserved Matters applications should cover:

Design

Design aspects of your statement should cover:

Use: including what the proposed buildings and spaces will be used for

Amount of Development: including how much development is proposed in terms of the number of units (residential) or floor area for each proposed use

Layout: including how the proposed buildings and spaces will be arranged on site and what their relationship will be with adjacent properties and spaces. For larger proposals, explain how issues such as crime prevention and relationships with public space will influence design

Scale: including what the dimensions of the proposed buildings are. Is the scale appropriate and will it sit comfortably with adjoining neighbours?

Appearance: What the building will look like. This should cover the architecture, materials and colour. Designs should be responsive to context and it should be explained how the appearance of the surrounding area and buildings have influenced the choice of design

Sustainability: including how the development would be energy efficient and embody the principles of sustainable development

Landscaping: Landscaping, including the treatment of public and private space with hard and soft landscaping to enhance the site, should be included in the overall design, and help to create a ‘sense of place’ in the development.

Climate change: applications should demonstrate how climate change mitigation (through the minimisation of energy consumption, efficient use of energy, and the supply of types of energy including from low-carbon and renewable sources to help reduce overall carbon emissions) and adaptation measures (to provide resilience to future climate impacts and how these have been considered in the design of the proposal

Access

Access aspects of your statement should cover:

Vehicular and Transport Links: including why certain access points have been chosen and how the site responds to the road layout and public transport provision. Emergency vehicle access together with pedestrian and cycle access will require consideration.

Inclusive Access: Does the proposed scheme ensure everyone has equal and convenient access to buildings, spaces and public transport regardless of age, disability, ethnicity or social grouping?

Design and access outline applications

The size and complexity of a Statement will vary according to the type of development being proposed.

Alongside demonstrating the processes of formulating your proposal, a Design and Access Statement to accompany an Outline application should present any decisions taken so far, but should also indicate the principles which will define future details of the development, and cover:

Design

Use: please describe what the proposed buildings and spaces will be used for.

Amount of Development: please describe the approximate amount of development

Layout: including the approximate location of the buildings, access routes and open space, in the form of an indicative layout.

Climate change: applications should demonstrate how climate change mitigation (through the minimisation of energy consumption, efficient use of energy, and the supply of types of energy including from low-carbon and renewable sources to help reduce overall carbon emissions) and adaptation measures (to provide resilience to future climate impacts and how these have been considered in the design of the proposal

Access

Explain the indicative access arrangements for the development at all scales from neighbourhood movement patterns to individual buildings.

 

Design and access listed building consents

The size and complexity of a statement will vary according to the type of development being proposed. Alongside demonstrating the processes of formulating your proposal, a Design and Access Statement to accompany a Listed Building application should explain:

  • How the proposed scheme has taken account of the historic and special architectural importance of the building,
  • The particular physical features of the building that justify its listed status and the setting of the building.
  • Planning Policy Guidance 15 – Planning and the Historic Environment requires that applicants must be able to justify their proposals in terms of the impact upon the historic building. The Design and Access Statement should therefore fully explain how the proposal has taken account of the requirements of, and advice contained in, PPG 15.
  • The Statement should also make clear how the proposals balance the duties imposed by the Disability Discrimination Act against the preservation of the character and fabric of the Listed Building.