Accessible London: Achieving an Inclusive Environment

22 July 2011

The Accessible London publications give advice on how to promote and achieve an inclusive environment in London.

The London Plan published in July 2011 contains a number of policies which specifically promote inclusive access to the built environment for disabled and older people. The key policies are:

  • 7.2 An Inclusive Environment which requires all new development in London to achieve the highest standards of accessible and inclusive design
  • 7.1 Lifetime Neighbourhoods whereby places and spaces are designed to met the needs of the community at all stages of people’s lives and meet the ‘lifetime neighbourhoods’ criteria
  • 3.5 Housing Design which requires that the design of all new dwellings have adequately sized rooms, convenient and efficient room layouts and meet the needs of Londoners over their lifetime, and address social inclusion
  • 3.8 Housing Choice which requires that all new housing is built to Lifetime Homes standards and ten per cent of new housing is designed to be wheelchair accessible, or easily adaptable for residents who are wheelchair users; and that account is taken of the changing age structure of London’s population and in particular the varied needs of older Londoners
  • 4.5 London’s Visitor Infrastructure which requires that at least 10% of new hotel bedrooms are wheelchair accessible
  • 2.15 Town Centres where the provision of Shopmobility schemes and other measures to improve access to goods and services for older and disabled Londoners should be promoted
  • 3.1 Equal Life Chances for All which aims to ensure that the barriers to meeting the needs of and expanding opportunities for particular groups and communities and tackling inequality across London are addressed.
  • A number of other policies on the design of the public realm, car parking facilities, the walking and pedestrian environment, accessible sports facilities, access to arts and culture, and social infrastructure.

The GLA publishes Supplementary Planning Guidance to provide detailed advice and guidance on the policies in the London Plan. The SPG ‘Accessible London: achieving an inclusive environment’ published in 2004 provides advice on implementing the inclusive design policies contained in the previous London Plan. The GLA is now updating this advice and mainstreaming it into the new SPGs being published on particular topics. This should help to ensure a wider readership of the inclusive design advice by developers, designers, planners, and the wider community, as well as by access consultants, local access groups, and organisations of disabled and Deaf people.

Advice on providing for accessible play and informal recreation facilities for disabled children and young people (Policy 3.6) is included in the draft Shaping Neighbourhoods: Children and Young People's Play and Informal Recreation SPG (Chapter 3) which is currently out for consultation until 27 April 2012.

Advice on implementing policies 3.5 housing design and 3.8 housing choice has been included in the Housing SPG. The Housing SPG includes advice on implementing the London Housing Design Guide Interim (external website) which incorporates the 16 Lifetime Home standards (external website). It also includes in Annex 2 best practice advice on wheelchair accessible housing including a diagram to illustrate the key features of wheelchair accessible housing (see p189).

Advice on implementing policies 7.1 Lifetime Neighbourhoods, 7.2 Inclusive Design, 7.5 on the design of the public realm and other relevant access policies will be contained in the forthcoming SPG Shaping Neighbourhoods to be published in 2012.

Advice on accessible hotel bedrooms will be included in the Town Centres SPG to be published in 2012.

Accessible Hotels in London (April 2010)

Improving the availability of hotel accommodation that is genuinely accessible to all is a particular priority in the draft replacement London Plan, which states that at least 10% of new provision should be wheelchair accessible – see draft replacement London Plan Policy 4.5, London’s Visitor Infrastructure.

To assist in the implementation of this policy the GLA, in conjunction with the London Development Agency and Design for London, commissioned Grant Thornton in conjunction with Colin Buchanan, David Bonnett Associates and Inclusion London to undertake research to assess the current supply and demand for accessible visitor accommodation in London. This report is the result of their research.

Accessible Hotels in London PDF (opens in new window)
Accessible Hotels in London RTF (opens in new window)

Accessible Hotels in London Appendices PDF (opens in new window)
Accessible Hotels in London Appendices RTF (opens in new window)

Accessible Hotels Draft Best Practice Guidance PDF (opens in new window)
Accessible Hotels Draft Best Practice Guidance RTF (opens in new window)

The following documents were published to support the previous London Plan but still provide helpful and relevant advice on achieving an inclusive environment.

Monitoring the Implementation of Lifetime Homes in London (August 2008)

As part of his commitment to delivering the homes Londoners need, the Mayor wants to ensure that the needs of older and disabled people, and families with small children are addressed by homes that are accessible and adaptable and able to meet the needs of occupiers throughout their lifetime. This research by Savills was commissioned by the GLA to assess how effectively existing London Plan policies regarding use of the standard have been implemented, and how consistently they are being interpreted across the capital.

Monitoring the Implementation of Lifetime Homes in London report PDF  (opens in new window)
Monitoring the Implementation of Lifetime Homes in London report RTF (opens in new window)
Monitoring the Implementation of Lifetime Homes in London Apps PDF (opens in new window)

Wheelchair Accessible Housing (September 2007)

The Mayor's Best Practice Guidance on wheelchair accessible housing provides advice on how to implement the London Plan policy on wheelchair accessible housing which states that at least 10% of new homes should be designed to be wheelchair accessible or easily adaptable for residents who are wheelchair users.

BPG Wheelchair Accessible Housing PDF (opens in new window)
BPG Wheelchair Accessible Housing RTF (opens in new window)

Lifetime Homes - case study examples (September 2006)

This document aims to inspire developers, designers and planners in the provision of accessible housing and supplements the advice given in the Accessible London SPG. Meeting the principles of inclusive design helps to ensure that the needs of disabled people, older people and families with small children are integrated into designs from the outset.

These case studies show how five developments in London have addressed Lifetime Homes standards and the particular challenges faced when meeting the design criteria in inner city residential schemes. Building to Lifetime Homes standards provides homes that are more flexible, adaptable and convenient for all of us so helps to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and contribute towards the creation of sustainable and inclusive communities.

Lifetime Homes - case study examples PDF (opens in new window)
Lifetime Homes - case study examples RTF (opens in new window)

Blue badge parking standards for off-street car parking (December 2006)

The GLA and the London Development Agency commissioned research to ensure that the London Plan policy on parking standards ensures equal and dignified access to all new developments in London by disabled people.

Blue badge parking standards PDF (opens in new window)
Blue badge parking standards RTF (opens in new window)

An illustrated journey through an accessible environment - case study examples (October 2004)

The introduction of the final provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in October 2004 has ensured that many service providers have reviewed how they provide their service to disabled people. As a result there are now some good examples of buildings in London where access for disabled people has been successfully improved. Although no building is flawless, providing information on buildings that have been made accessible can inspire others. A number of photographic examples of building elements have therefore been illustrated in this document, with the aim of inspiring developers, designers, and planners, helping to supplement the advice given in the SPG and assisting in implementing the London Plan policies on inclusive design. An inclusive approach to improving access for disabled people can help to eliminate discrimination and contributes towards the creation of an accessible and inclusive City.

An illustrated journey through an accessible environment - case study examples PDF (opens in new window)
An illustrated journey through an accessible environment - case study examples RTF (opens in new window)

Accessible London (April 2004)

Accessible London was the first SPG document to be published following publication in February 2004 of the London Plan. It provides detail on the policies in the London Plan which promote inclusive design and access to the building environment for disabled people, including policies on accessible housing. It will be of interest to all planning authorities in London, developers including house builders and housing associations, designers planners, access officers, and voluntary organisations, particularly disability organisations. It was prepared within the context of the advice and guidance current at the time of going to print but is subject to an ongoing process of monitoring and review as the strategic policy framework, legislation and government guidance change.

Accessible London: Achieving an Inclusive Environment PDF (opens in new window)
Accessible London: Achieving an Inclusive Environment RTF (opens in new window)