Maria Miller, the Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee has added her views to the growing controversy with regard to access for disabled people within the built environment.
She said, “”Disabled people have the right to participate in all parts of life under the law. This is undermined if the built environment locks them out. The burden of ensuring that an accessible environment is achieved falls too heavily at present on disabled people.”
The committee’s key recommendations included:-
Government should give strategic leadership to ensure disabled people can access the built environment.
Government should make it easier for planning authorities to insist on access including not signing off local plans unless they address access to housing, public spaces and the wider built environment.
There should be more ambition in implementing accessible housing standards to at least the equivalent of the life times homes standard.
Increased provision of Changing Places toilets in public buildings should be a priority.
There should be a moratorium on shared spaces schemes until national guidelines are developed that guarantee access and safety for disabled people.