This letter clarifies
for building control bodies the relationship between the Equality Act 2010 and
Part M (Access to and use of buildings) of the Building Regulations 2010.
Compliance with the
requirements of Part M does not signify compliance with the much broader
obligations and duties set out in the Equality Act. This is a source of
Part M sets out
minimum requirements to ensure that a broad range of people are able to access
and use facilities within buildings.
The Equality Act
requires reasonable adjustments to be made in relation to accessibility. In
practice, this means that due regard must be given to any specific needs of
likely building users that might be reasonably met. The letter sets out a 10 year exemption from the need to alter physical features in buildings completed under ADM.
However most Councils planning and access officers (and some private sector clients) are adopting BS8300 as the relevant measure for all new building projects to avoid the need for alterations in 10 years time . Be warned that the standards are much higher - for example the size of a single accessible WC cubicle should be 2.2m x 2m and have a standing height WHB rather than the 2.2 x 1.5m in ADM. If you havent got a copy of BS 8300 yet, theres still time to put it on your Christmas List