PAN 78: Planning and Building Standards Advice Note: Inclusive Design

Advice on improving the design of places so that they can be used by everyone, regardless of age, gender or disability.


Designing Places coverDesigning Places, published in November 2001, sets out the Scottish Executive's expectations of the Planning system to deliver high standards of design in development and redevelopment projects. The design based Planning Advice Note ( PAN) series, which has followed on and complemented Designing Places, has built up a range of advice on good practice. This PAN forms part of the series and looks at how to improve the design of places so that they can be used by everyone.

An inclusive environment is one which can be used by everyone - regardless of age, gender or disability. This supports the Executive's aim of promoting more equality in the areas where we live and work. The objective of inclusive design therefore, is to widen the user group that an environment is designed for. To achieve this, everyone involved in creating places, must understand how to design for this wider user group. This PAN is intended to assist in achieving this. It aims to:

  • Explain the importance of inclusive design.
  • Identify the nature of the problems experienced in designing inclusive environments.
  • Describe the legislative context.
  • Outline the roles of the different stakeholders in delivering inclusive design.
  • Identify the particular challenges of applying inclusive design to the historic environment.
  • Provide a useful reference list of more detailed or technical advice.

In addition to creating more inclusive environments, which can be used by all, there is a specific legal requirement to consider the needs of disabled people under the terms of Disability Discrimination legislation. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 ( DDA), public bodies, including local authorities, will have a new duty to actively promote disability equality. The promotion of inclusive design should be seen as an important part of meeting this new duty.

This PAN is targeted at a wide range of people who are involved in the development process and who have the opportunity to create and maintain inclusive environments. This includes building owners, developers, design professionals, local authority officers, access panels and, importantly, building occupiers.

This PAN is a joint publication between the Scottish Building Standards Agency and the Planning Division of the Scottish Executive Development Department.

Good vertical circulation, The Lighthouse, Glasgow photo

Good vertical circulation, The Lighthouse, Glasgow

Disabled parking, Arbroath town centre, Angus photo

Disabled parking, Arbroath town centre, Angus



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