Review of Design & Access Statements in Wales


The Urbanists formed a research team with Cardiff University (School of Planning and Geography) and Keith Bright Associates to undertake research into the effectiveness of Design and Access Statements in improving design in Wales for the Welsh Government.

We undertook primary and secondary research to understand what influence the requirement of a Design and Access Statement had on the development of an application and it’s progress through the planning process. This included a literature review, a review of policy and guidance, a questionnaire, an event to consult with a wide range of stakeholders and 12 case studies that covered a range of application types.

The research found that, whilst Design and Access Statements had been one of a number of things that had raised the profile of design and access issues in recent years and is a useful communication tool for explaining the application, there are

a number of issues which meant that overall they were not effective in positively influencing the design of proposals. A report containing the results of the research and a number of recommendations was submitted to Welsh Governments for consideration as part of the review of planning in Wales.