Crazy accessibility and ramp requirements

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by d000hg, 21 Nov 2019.

  1. d000hg

    d000hg

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    We've been reading the regs document about accessibility essentially say that all buildings must make reasonable effort to be accessible to wheelchairs and other disabled people.
    Regarding approach to a building it mentions:
    • ideally gradient should be less than 1:60
    • If not possible then 1:20 is OK with a maximum ramp length 10m
    • Or 1:15 with maximum ramp 5m
    • Or 1:12 maximum ramp 2m
    • You can have sections of ramp with flat parts breaking them up

    Our building has a door threshold 350mm from the ground and this could be accommodated by two steps, 3 at the very most like a typical house. But taking the 1:20 gradient we would need a ramp 7m long. In old money, we need a 20 foot long ramp for a 1 foot rise.
    The ramp would have to be nearly as long as the building.

    [​IMG]

    This is for a building situated in a woodland environment (our large garden) which is by its very nature, not flat, to provide outside/forest school play-based learning. Of course we need access for push-chairs but they can safely be navigated up a far steeper incline over a short distance. The public footpaths to reach us are steeper and less well-surfaced than that!

    We're going to have a site visit with the BC chap tomorrow but are unsure if there are any specific arguments we might use against filling our garden with a massive unsightly ramp, anything we can suggest or propose to request a relaxation of the rules? Perhaps on the grounds that our location and services are realistically not suitable for disabled people in the first place - or is it forbidden to suggest that in this day and age?
     
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  3. d000hg

    d000hg

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    We were trying to find out what the maximum 'step' a wheelchair can deal with should be, but failing too. Anyone know if this is included in the regs? For flooding you need to be able to have a threshold surely?

    To clarify we're not saying we don't want disabled people BTW. Severely disabled people would simply not be a good fit and there's no reason they'd want to come here, but a fit wheelchair user for instance should be perfectly fine. It seems an area the regs are pretty strict but then we used to own a new-build house that was accessed by a flight of steps!
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Fit a platform lift, and sort the rest of the access route out.

    The point is, you are building a commercial enterprise and inviting customers, paying customers and members of the public to visit.
    So you need to comply with the Equality Act 2010 so that you dont discriminate against the less able - however much inconvenience you think this will cause to the garden. Whilst Part M will apply, you need to meet other legislation and not be of the mindset of "Crazy accessibility and ramp requirements" when being asked to consider the needs of others who you are taking money off.

    BTW, "equality" and "disability" does not just mean catering for someone in a wheelchair. Futher, its not just how they amble in to the shed one morning, but how do they safely get out and away if it's on fire.
     
  5. d000hg

    d000hg

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    Well we're inviting them but we would suggest if they are disabled, they would be better provided for at a more traditional provider. It's all very well making the building accessible, but most of the activities will take place outside in an environment that definitely isn't accessible, so we couldn't provide our services to them anyway. Walking through a woodland, etc. And I don't think the regs say our garden has to be accessible, only the building. Lots of businesses restrict their provision of services to those safely able to utilise them.

    A more likely case would be a disabled parent/carer but we could easily accommodate their needs without their having to gain access to the building; carers will NOT be allowed in the main building anyway.

    In case of fire... well our customers are aged 0-4 so many of them will need assistance. And this isn't a shop - we're not taking money off people, they are asking to have a place for their child. If we cannot provide a good experience we do not want their money.

    Anyway I'm really only interested in how these regs can be figured out in practice, and what element of leniency and context can be taken into consideration. The regs exist for a purpose not just to cause headaches after all.
     
  6. I would have thought regs were regs, so my guess is probably no leeway (it's a guess though)
     
  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    That's blatant discrimination.

    SMH
     
  8. d000hg

    d000hg

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    They use words like "recommendation" a lot without really explaining when this can be challenged, which is somewhat frustrating.

    I had seen somewhere different requirements for aided and unaided wheelchair users but find no reference to it in BR. Given the language used I wonder if it would be deemed discriminatory to provide access that requires assistance?

    I was looking into steps Vs ramps and it seems it is quite acceptable that steps are the only access to higher floors, but ground floor access just provide a ramp if there is any perceptible gradient.
     
  9. Disabled access- tell me about it :!: Haven't studied your situation but just mentioning we used to sometimes get around these formal disabled access ramp requirements by providing 'an amorphous shaped approach' to the main entrance in block paving for example. Your specific situation would need to be investigated more carefully of course.
     
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  11. d000hg

    d000hg

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    It shouldn't be discriminatory to point out disabled children cannot do everything able bodied ones can. If I run mountain biking experiences then am I supposed to allow a paraplegic to take part?
     
  12. Define disabled... opened a can of worms here.
     
  13. garyo

    garyo

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    Define 'reasonable adjustments'...
     
  14. d000hg

    d000hg

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    There is no single definition. But we can easily think of examples where a business couldn't serve people.

    I'm also interested how it is addressed that we are talking nursery school kids. They are often transported in buggies anyway so is it discriminatory that a toddler should need assistance for access? I've no idea if a 4yo would push themselves in a wheelchair or reasonably expect to be pushed for example.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2019
  15. Their carer might?
     
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  16. Define this, define that , there is disabled and ambulant disabled, there are consultants employed on some projects just to deal with the requirements of Approved Document M :!: :oops: what does requirement mean, should I have said guidance :?: there is conflict between flood risk and disabled access (there is sometimes conflict between security and fire safety in buildings ) The correct procedure would be to employ an architectural designer like an architect or architectural technician to design the scheme and take all these relevant points into consideration for the specific site and building, then submit the drawings to Building Control for approval. As has been said on here many times it isn't up to the BCO to design the scheme.
    The architectural designer can discuss things with BCO as necessary.
     
  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You seem to need to go on a course or two to get some understanding of discrimation as you will be running a business that has the potential to disciminate.

    Preventing someone from accessing your service - a service that you could provide them if they could actually get into the building is discrimination.

    What you are doing is the same "No blacks, No Irish, No dogs" scenario, only you are not hanging a signon the gate but just putting in a barrier to the same effect to stop certain people getting in.
     
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