Access to and Use of Buildings

Legal changes

Changes to the requirements of Part M (Building Regulations) affecting dwellings came into force in October 1999, which required all new dwellings to have a reasonable level of accessibility for disabled persons.

Provisions must be made for improved circulation space, accessible location of electrical sockets and switches, suitable sanitary conveniences on the ground/entrance floor and a ramped or level approach to the dwelling.

The objectives of the new provisions are not intended to ensure that all houses are suitable for a disabled person to live in, but to enable a disabled visitor to the dwelling to be able to do so with reasonable comfort and independence.

The provisions will also enable occupants to cope better with reduced mobility and to remain in their homes for longer.