A design and access (DAS) statement is a short report accompanying and supporting a planning application. They provide a framework for applicants to explain how a proposed development is a suitable response to the site and its setting, and demonstrate that it can be adequately accessed by prospective users.
A DAS is required with planning applications for major development – both full and outline. Lower thresholds apply in conservation areas and World Heritage Sites, where some smaller applications must also be accompanied by a DAS. Listed building consent applications must also include a DAS. Applications for waste development, a material change of use, engineering or mining operations do not need to be accompanied by a DAS.
A DAS must explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development. It must also demonstrate how the proposed development’s context has influenced the design. The Statement must explain the applicant’s approach to access and how relevant Local Plan policies have been taken into account, any consultation undertaken in relation to access issues, and how the outcome of this consultation has informed the proposed development. Applicants must also explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the proposed development have been addressed.
The level of detail in a Design and Access Statement should be proportionate to the complexity of the application, but should not be long. For most straightforward planning applications, the DAS may only need to be a page long.