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Disabled Persons (Access To Buildings)

Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now take steps to ensure that facilities for disabled people are provided in alterations and extensions carried out to existing buildings.

A circular to accompany the new amendment to the building regulations dealing with access for disabled people will draw the attention of designers and developers to the obligation in the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 to ensure that reasonable provision for disabled people is made in both new and converted buildings.There are considerable practical difficulties in devising regulations which can apply to alterations and extensions to buildings and result in positive improvements in access for disabled people. Building regulations apply only to items of new building work and cannot require the provision of facilities that do not already exist. My Department is examining the problem, however, and I hope that progress can be made.