We can give general advice on the requirements of Part M `Access to and Use of Buildings` of the Building Regulations.
The 2004 edition became effective on 1 May 2004.
The Building Regulations and Approved Documents can be viewed on the web at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister website.
Designers should also be aware of the details contained in British Standard 8300 : 2001 `Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people - Code of Practice` which is being used as the standard requirements to give access to services. This gives guidance beyond the requirements of part M of the Building Regulations.
Equalities Act 2010
The act currently requires anyone who provides goods, services and/or facilities, whether upon payment or not, to ensure that they are reasonably accessible.
From 1 October 2004 any physical feature that prevents access should be removed or altered so as to have no adverse effect on gaining access to the goods, services or facilities.
We can give general advice on access issues.
Further guidance is available from the following organisations
Disability Rights Commission - If you provide goods or offer services and / or facilities to the public further information is available from the Disability Rights Commission.
Centre for Accessible Environments - The Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) is an information provider and a forum for collaborative dialogue between providers and users on how the built environment can best be made or modified to achieve inclusion by design
Local Access Group - Your local access group "Southampton Action For Access" (S.A.F.A.) can also give advice and can be contacted through their website.
Link to these organisations websites are available in the External links menu.
Southampton City Council and the Equalities Act
Southampton City Council does not have the power to enforce the Equalities Act. Anyone who has been discriminated against may take action by contacting the Disability Rights Commission, their contact details can be found on the right hand menu.
What Southampton City Council can do is ensure that its own services meet the requirements of the Equalities Act and so we have an ongoing process of identifying area for improvement and drawing up action plans to ensure reasonable access is provided.