Public Lavatories: Disabled

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander Shadow Secretary of State (Cabinet Office) and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to ensure that the provision of disabled toilets by local authorities is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

New public conveniences provided by local authorities must comply with the Building Regulations. Toilets for use by disabled people, whether wheelchair users or ambulant disabled people, should comply with Part M of the Building Regulations (Access to and use of buildings). The guidance in Approved Document M shows one way of meeting these requirements.

Regulations made under the Disability Discrimination Act (The Disability Discrimination (Service Providers and Public Authorities Carrying Out Functions) Regulations 2005; S.I. 2005 No. 2901) provide an exemption from the requirement on service providers and public authorities to make 'reasonable adjustments' to physical features of a building provided they follow the guidance in the version of Approved Document M, which applied at the time of installation or construction. The exemption applies for a period of up to 10 years from the completion of installation or construction of the feature or, in the case of a physical feature provided as part of a larger building project, the day on which the works in relation to that project were completed.

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