Home > Planning > Planning applications > Making a planning application > Design and access statements

Design and access statements

A design and access statement is a short report accompanying and supporting a planning application and should seek to explain and justify the proposal in a structured way. The level of detail required in a design and access statement will depend on the scale and complexity of the application, the length of the statement will vary accordingly.

A design and access statement should cover both the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposed development and how issues relating to access to the development have been dealt with.

A design and access statement should be proportionate to the complexity of the application, but need not be long. Such a statement accompanying an outline application provides the link between the outline and reserved matters.

When is a design and access statement necessary?

A design and access statement must accompany applications for both outline and full planning permission. For householder developments a design and access statement is required where any part of a dwelling house or its curtilage fall within one of the following designated areas:

  • National Park
  • Site of special scientific interest
  • Conservation area
  • Area of outstanding natural beauty
  • World Heritage Site
  • The Broads

They are not needed for:

  • Householder developments (see exemptions above)
  • A material change of use of land and buildings, (unless it also involves operational development)
  • Applications relating to advertisement control
  • Applications relating to tree preservation orders
  • Engineering or mining operations
  • Applications relating to the storage of hazardous substances