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An important aspect of the Building Regulations is ensuring that all newly constructed buildings, both dwellings and non-dwellings meet minimum standards under Part M.  

The legislation requires that people, regardless of disability, age or gender are able to access buildings and use the facilities, both as visitors and people who live and work in them.

For example:

  • ensuring disabled people, particularly wheelchair users and those with mobility impairments, can visit a house and have access to a ground floor living space and toilet
  • For commercial premises it is important to ensure visual contrast between door frames and the surrounding walls and the wall and ceiling and wall and floor. The surface of the leading edge of any door that is not self-closing, or is likely to be held open, should contrast visually with the other door surfaces and its surroundings.

Advice and encouragement is also given to owners of existing buildings to improve access for disabled people. For more detailed guidance on how to achieve compliance with the requirements of Part M, please refer to the Approved Documents below.

This covers visitable, accessible/adaptable and wheelchair user dwellings

This covers access and use of buildings other than dwellings, access to and sanitary conveniences in, extensions to buildings other than dwellings.

What else should you be aware of?

There is often confusion about how Part M and The Equality Act 2010 are linked.  It is important to remember that compliance with Part M is not the same as compliance with the broader obligations and duties referred to in the Equalities Act. (Note, there may be changes to the legislation not yet applied following exit from the EU at the end of 2020.)

Fee Exemptions 

Applications for Building Regulations are normally subject to a fee being paid on submission. Charges are not payable in respect of work that is carried out for the benefit of a disabled person in accordance with Regulation 4 of the Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 for more information read our guidance.