Design and access statements (DAS)

The requirement to submit a DAS with a planning application only applies to:

  • Planning applications for Major developments with the exception of:
    • Mining operations
    • Waste developments
    • Relaxation or amendment to conditions (section 73 applications)
    • application for a material change in use of land or buildings
  • Planning applications  in a conservation area for one or more dwellings
  • Planning applications in a conservation area where the creation of floorspace is 100 sq.m. or more

A DAS is not required for a reserved matters application as this is not an application for planning permission.

However, the DAS should act as a ‘living document’ and a reserved matters application should be accompanied by a progress statement updating any changes that have occurred since the original DAS was submitted.

Please note: If a DAS is required but not submitted or if the content of the DAS does not properly address the required content for the planning application then it will be classed as invalid.

Structure of a DAS

A DAS should clearly and logically lead the reader through the design process so to explain the reasoning behind the final proposal.

The content will vary depending on the project.  As a minimum the DAS must explain:

  • The design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development; and
  • How issues relating to access to the development have been dealt with.

This suggested structure broadly follows the stages of the design process.  It is important that you address all the headings set out in bold and that you say something about each one.

a) Summary of proposal
b) The Brief and Vision
c) Site and Context Analysis
d) Interpretation
e) Interpretation
f) Design development
g) The proposal
(i) Character
(ii) Access
(iii) Movement
(iv) Environmental Sustainability
(v) Community Safety
(vi) Response to planning policy

For further guidance on how to produce a DAS please download the Welsh Government’s Design and Access Statements in Wales, June 2017 (PDF)

Heritage Impact Assessment

As from 1 September 2017, a Heritage Impact Statement is required to support certain applications for listed building or conservation area consent in Wales and will replace the DAS in the application process for listed building consent.

Guidance on preparing a Heritage Impact Statement

Further information

The following links to the legislation and the guidance about Design and Access Statements.

The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) (amendment no. 2) Regulations 2017 (SI2017/638)

Advice on the content of DAS is contained in the Welsh Government's: Technical Advice Note (TAN) 12: Design, last updated 31 March 2016.

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