Two sets of regulations are coming into force on 25 June which lessen the requirements relating to design and access statements ("DAS") in certain cases.
The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) (Amendment) Order 2013 reduces the types of applications which must be accompanied by a DAS and simplifies the content where a DAS is required. Under the 2013 Order, a DAS will only be required to accompany applications for major development or for certain development in a conservation area or world heritage site. The 2013 Order also introduces a right for the applicant to notify the local authority where the applicant considers that evidence required for the application does not meet certain criteria of reasonableness or materiality. If the local authority rejects the notice, the application becomes a "non-validated application" but must nonetheless be determined within statutory time periods.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Amendment (England) Regulations 2013 will amend the content required in the DAS for applications under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Regulations 1990. The requirement for the DAS to explain the principles and concepts that applied to the scale, layout and appearance of proposed works is removed as is the requirement to explain how features ensuring access to the building are to be maintained. These amendments are in addition to reforms under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act affecting requirements relating to listed building consent and conservation area consent - see our FuturePerfect? article for more details.