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Public Buildings: Disability

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 121947, tabled on 10 January 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of amending the National Planning Policy Framework to stipulate that buildings with public access have changing places in disabled toilets.

Answered on

23 January 2018

The National Planning Policy Framework is supportive of good and inclusive design. This is important, given the government's commitment to building successful and attractive communities. The Framework defines inclusive design as ‘designing the built environment, including buildings and their surrounding spaces, to ensure that they can be accessed and used by everyone’.

Specific requirements relating to access to and use of new buildings, including buildings to which the public has access, are set out in Part M of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations. Statutory guidance, which supports these requirements, set out in Approved Document M, Volume 2 – buildings other than dwellings, states that toilet accommodation needs to be suitable, not only for disabled people, but for all people who use the building.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has commissioned research into the effectiveness of the guidance which supports the Building Regulations’ requirements relating to access to and use of non-domestic buildings. We will be taking the research into account in considering whether any changes need to be made to the guidance on the provision of toilet facilities for people with disabilities.

Answered by

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government