Proposal: Erection of a residential Block for 17 residential units, with associated parking, servicing and landscaping / amenity provision
Objection: I raised concerns about the design of this development during the public consultation as follows:
"There is no reason why the development could not provide 100% accessible and adaptable dwellings in accordance with Building Regulation Part M4 (2). Given the disgraceful shortage of dwellings built in the borough for wheelchair users over the past few years due to the Council's reluctance to request such provision when dealing with planning applications, this development provides an opportunity to at least create a few accessible dwellings. That opportunity must be taken.
As a council development I am alarmed to be unable to trace reference to Part M in the documents although section 12 of the design and access statement does indicate "the aim of the proposal is to ensure that appropriate standards for accessibility can be met at the outset, to meet reasonable expectations for mainstream inclusive design, and to ensure that the aims of the Disability Discrimination
Act 1995 (as amended 2005) can be met". However that is incorrect legislation which has long been superseeded by the Equality Act 2010. I am afraid this demonstrates the designers ignorance of the design requirements for disabled people. Reference is made to 10% of the apartments (2no?) being wheelchair adaptable but this is itself an ambiguous term.
Any planning permission needs to include a condition requiring which apartments are to satisfy Part M4(2): Category 2: accessible and adaptable dwellings and which are to satisfy PartM4(3) : and Category 3 ; wheelchair user dwellings.
As this is the council's own development there must be no resistance to the application of these 'optional' requirements.