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Friday, 13 May 2016

Letter to the Council RE Disabled Access and Planning Permission

I have written a letter to Craven District Council asking whether the views of people living with disabilities are taken into account when planning applications are considered.
Dear Mr. Smirthwaite,

RE: Disabled Access in Craven

A new [shop*] has opened at [address]. I was disappointed to discover that despite the council giving planning permission for a change of use and extensive work being done to the building, the venue is not wheelchair accessible.

Given the extent of the building work taking place, I am curious to know why there was no requirement for the venue to be wheelchair accessible. Not requiring disabled access sends the message that people living with disabilities do not matter. Does the council believe that wheelchair users are not interested in [the service that this shop provides]?

This example led me to wonder to what extent the council takes into account the views of those living with disabilities when reviewing planning applications. I would be very interested to meet with someone from the council to discuss this matter.

People living with disabilities deserve equal access to venues in Craven. I appreciate that it is not always possible to provide disabled access. However, every measure should be taken to ensure that equal access is provided wherever possible.

Yours faithfully,

Sophie Thomas

I have removed the name of an independent business from the public version of this letter. This letter is designed to raise questions regarding council policy when considering planning applications. Let Me In! is not aimed at victimising small businesses.

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