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Accessible housing and the new national technical standards
This paper identifies the new national optional technical housing standards, including: the national space standard, which is an option applied by the local planning authority at the planning stages and only if proved viable; Section M4(2) of Volume 1, Approved Document M, which is an option implemented by the planning authority, if viable, but monitored and regulated by Building Control; Section M4(3) of Volume 1, Approved Document M, which is a further option implemented by the planning authority, if viable, but monitored and regulated by Building Control. The aim is to give greater understanding of how the new optional standards will be implemented and what they seek to achieve. Some examination of the content of the new standards is used to explain the differences and similarities between the optional standards and the mandatory standard M4(1). Some comparison is made with Lifetime Homes standards and Category 2 of the optional standards to understand the impact of the design standards on new housing developments. The paper also examines some of the issues surrounding the current and predicted demands upon housing, including the need for greater adaptability, flexibility and accessibility.
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