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New design statement law comes into force

The controversial new law that will see all planning applications require a 'Design and Access Statement' has come in to force.

In a statement released today, planning minister Kay Andrews revealed how the new legislation, part of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, aims to 'drive up standards of design and quality in all new developments'.

The statements will set out how elements of design, such as character and disability access, have been considered, giving local authorities greater understanding of what is being proposed and what the final development might look like.

Andrews said: 'The government is putting high-quality design at the heart of the planning process to ensure that it is integral to any new development proposals. Giving proper consideration to design and access principles at the start can improve the quality of new buildings and spaces, as well as speeding up the process too.'

She added: 'We want developers and local authorities to seize this opportunity to ensure that they deliver attractive and exciting places that everyone can cherish.'

The new legislation now demands that all applicants demonstrate consideration of the layout, appearance, scale and landscaping to ensure good design, and that they have thought carefully about how everyone, including disabled people, the elderly and young children, will be able to travel and use the places they want to build.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued a good practice guide on CABE's website for both architects and developers on how the statements will work.

For more information visit www.cabe.org.uk

by Richard Vaughan

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