Last edited 28 Dec 2020

Clear access route

The building regulations set out legal requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction. A series of approved documents provide general guidance about how different aspects of building design and construction can comply with the building regulations.

Approved document M provides guidance for satisfying Part M of the building regulations: Access to and use of buildings, which requires the inclusive provision of ease of access to, and circulation within, buildings, together with requirements for facilities for people with disabilities.

Approved document M, Volume 1: Dwellings (2015 edition incorporating 2016 amendments), defines a clear access route as a:

Clear unobstructed ‘pathway’ to access a window or other feature. Localised obstructions are not permitted unless specifically stated.

A clear access zone is a:

Clear, unobstructed space for access or manoeuvring. Localised obstructions are not permitted unless specifically stated.

Where a localised obstructions is a:

Short, fixed element such as a bollard lighting column or radiator, not more than 150mm deep that may intrude into a path, route, or corridor, that does not unduly restrict the passage of a wheelchair user.

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