After a wait of almost two years since the initial consultation, this week the Government published its response to the Raising Accessibility Standards for New Homes Consultation.
GMCDP welcomes the proposal that all new homes (with limited exceptions) are to be built to the 'Accessible and Adaptable Dwellings', or M4(2), standard as laid out in Part M of the Building Regulations, an upgrade from the previous M4(1) 'Visitable Dwellings'.
It is unclear how long all this will take to introduce, because there is going to be another consultation on the draft technical details and then there needs to be a change to building regulations. We hope that this proposal will be implemented as soon as possible.
It is disappointing that there will be no mandatory percentage for new dwellings to be built to the M4(3) standard, for housing actually designed for wheelchair users to live in. Instead, they will continue to leave that to each local authority to 'tailor the supply of wheelchair user dwellings to local demand'.
GMCDP feels that a requirement of 10% of new homes constructed to meet Building Regulation M4(3) should be the national minimum, with local authorities being able to increase this number if particular conditions apply in their area. We advocated for this as part of our consultation response.