MPs investigate inclusivity of built environment

A committee of MPs is carrying out an investigation into the accessibility of homes, buildings and public spaces, and its suitability for our ageing population.

The women and equalities committee’s inquiry will look at government policy and legislation, design and management of the public realm, and the role of designers and others in ensuring accessibility and inclusivity.

Key areas under consideration will include:

  • Performance of part M of the building regulations
  • Adequacy of the supply of accessible homes and commercial buildings
  • What mechanisms can be used to encourage developers to go beyond minimum standards of accessibility
  • Whether the needs of all groups are given adequate consideration in the design of streets, highways, parks and open spaces
  • Training needs of planners, architects, designers and building inspectors
  • Whether local authorities could do more through licensing, planning and enforcement to increase accessibility of the built environment.

Committee chair Maria Miller MP said: “This area raises some interesting questions, and there is a great deal of scope for innovation. For example: how can building information modelling and modern methods of construction contribute to making environments more accessible and inclusive? How can we deliver greater accessibility and inclusivity alongside more age-friendly towns and cities, including liaison with the NHS?”

Deadline for submission of written evidence to the committee is 12 October. More information can be found here.

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