Design and Access statements and The Code for Sustainable Homes
The Code for Sustainable Homes
National planning policy requires that from the 1st of September 2010 all residential developments of 1 or more dwellings will need to meet a minimum of level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. This is a recognised standard designed to improve the overall sustainability of new homes under a single framework. New homes will have to reduce Carbon Emissions by 31% above current building regulations requirements.
What does the code measure?
The Code measures the sustainability performance of a home against the 9 design categories detailed below:
4.Surface Water Run-off
7.Health and Well being
Credits are awarded under subheadings in each design category and it is the total number of credits achieved that provide the final score. To achieve level 3 of the code a minimum of 57 credits is required.
Design and Access statement (DAS)
The Code for Sustainable Homes assessment should work alongside your Design and Access Statement to outline how the development will meet the requirements of the code and fully justify the design choices made. For more information on Design and Access statements see below.
You are strongly advised to seek pre-application advice regarding your development from the local planning authority and from a qualified code assessor—details on where to find a code assessor are included below. For details on our pre-application advice service please visit our pre-application web-page.
Types of assessment
For outline application you will be expected to submit a detailed pre-assessment summary. The purpose of which is to establish that the development is capable of meeting code level 3 or above. By getting it right at this stage, it will save time and money latter on by avoiding delays and amendments being required. You will also need to submit details relating to the code for sustainable homes in your DAS. If low or Zero carbon technologies are to be utilised than a feasibility study should also be included. Please see our checklists for further guidance on information that needs submitting alongside your application.
RESERVED MATTERS AND FULL APPLICATIONS
For reserved matters applications (where outline was granted on or after the 1st of September 2009) and full applications you will need your code assessor details and site registration number, a detailed pre-assessment, and a clear statement within the DAS on the approach taken to reduce Carbon Emissions through the implementation of the energy hierarchy.
What happens after I receive permission?
Once planning permission has been approved you will need to fulfil certain obligations which will be conditioned on your planning permission.
- Prior to the commencement of development an 'Interim Certificate will need to be submitted to the LPA
- Post construction a 'Final Certificate' will need to be submitted prior to occupation of the dwelling.
Code assessors and service providers
Code service providers are organisations that train and accredit Code assessors to carry out assessments on homes against the Code for Sustainable Homes. BRE Global Ltd and Stroma Ltd are currently licensed to be Code service providers. If you would like to become a Code assessor, you will need to contact one of these organisations.
Where to find a code assessor:
If you are looking to hire the services of a licensed and accredited Code assessor you can find lists of accredited code assessors from the following sources:
Ceredigion County Council has in-house code assessors who can be contacted on the following details:
email@example.com Tel 01545 572196
A list of BRE Global accredited Code assessors is available on the BREEAM web site. Visit: www.breeam.org
A list of Stroma accredited Code assessors can be obtained by contacting Stroma. Visit: www.stroma.com
Where to get further information and advice:
www.wales.gov.uk/planning Technical Advice Note 22 can be accessed through the Welsh Assembly Government web site
www.est.org.uk The following information is available from this web site:
Energy Saving Trust leaflets for code level 3,4,5
Energy savings Trust calculator
Energy Savings Trust Best Practice House
www.communities.gov.uk The Communities and Local Government Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide: 2008 is available from this web site.
Other sources of Information:
Design and Access Statements (DAS)
Design and Access Statements (DAS) need to be submitted with (almost) every planning application submitted. As a minimum the design and access statement should explain the concepts and principles in relation to:
- Character (including amount, layout, scale, appearance and landscaping)
- Community Safety
- Environmental sustainability
- Movement to, from and within the development
Design and Access Statements work in conjunction with the Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment.
A DAS accompanying a listed building consent application must as a minimum explain the concepts and principles in relation to:
- Environmental sustainability
A DAS accompanying a Listed Building Consent Application will work in conjunction with the Heritage statement.
A living document
It is considered good practice that the design and access statement is seen as a living document that should grow with the project, the principles of the DAS should be considered throughout the stages of design, gaining planning consent, building and beyond. It is a statutory requirement to submit a statement at the application stage; however good practice is that a statement is initiated at the briefing stage and then grows as the various stages that inform and influence the design process are reached.
Applications not requiring a DAS
A design and access statement is not part of the planning application but is required by legislation to accompany all planning applications (outline and full) except for:
- Engineering or mining operations
- Householder developments
- Material changes in use of land or buildings (but where the change in use will necessitate access by an employee, or the provision of services (including goods or facilities) to the public than a statement dealing with access issues only will be required)
A DAS is not required for applications which are not for planning permission or listed building consent (e.g. applications related to advertisement control, tree preservation orders or storage of hazardous substances).
There are a number of documents and guidance notes to help you prepare a design and access statement these are available to view on the following links:
W E L S H STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS 2009 No. 1024 (W.87) TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING, WALES (legal explanatory note)
NEW Technical Advice Note 12 DESIGN from the Welsh Assembly Government (policy document)