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  • Writer's pictureDeerness Valley Nursery

Planning Applications - draft Design and Access Statement

The next stage in the process is to put in a planning application. However, I have never done this before either! Helpfully, our local council have a pre-planning application advice service which I've used to get the planning department's thoughts on a planning application.

To prepare the pre-planning application I had to write a draft Design and Access Statement. My research about this led me to the following information:

A Design and Access Statement must:
(a) explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposed development; and
(b) demonstrate the steps taken to appraise the context of the proposed development, and how the design of the development takes that context into account.
A development’s context refers to the particular characteristics of the application site and its wider setting. These will be specific to the circumstances of an individual application and a Design and Access Statement should be tailored accordingly.
Design and Access Statements must also explain the applicant’s approach to access and how relevant Local Plan policies have been taken into account. They must detail any consultation undertaken in relation to access issues, and how the outcome of this consultation has informed the proposed development. Applicants must also explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the proposed development have been addressed.

Using this section above I decided to write under the following headings:

  • Proposal and Context

  • Building and Play Equipment

  • Car Park and Access

  • Noise Considerations

  • Photographs

  • Site Plan

Proposal and Context

Under this heading I briefly wrote about what I want to do - aka set up a small rural, outdoor based nursery including number of spaces, and proposed opening hours. I also wrote about where we are, and what our garden space is like.

Building and Play Equipment

Here I talked about what the building could be like, what materials and treatments on the wood we'd use, and why we've chosen a log cabin building for the project. I also talk about the other structures we'd be building such as a sandpit, climbing frame, buggy storage. I used this section to talk about fences within and surrounding the garden.

Car Park and Access

Here I detailed about the small car park I'd like to have, how many spaces and what the ground would be made of, and also about the majority of children walking to nursery with their families.

Noise Considerations

As we are in a rural setting I noted here how far away our nearest neighbours are and how the woodland muffles sound. It is important to consider neighbours when you're planning a project like this for various reasons including being a good neighbour, and not wanting to adversely effect the quality of life of your community.


Here I compiled a sort of "mood board" of pictures of the cabin I like, of another cabin with larger windows that I like, outdoor equipment, and of the garden space.

Site Plan

This part sounded like it would be the hardest bit, but actually there are loads of ways to get a site plan of your proposed site online. I chose to go with "Streetwise" as I liked their very user friendly interface, and their competitive pricing.

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