The amendments will bring Part M into line with Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act and the new British Standard BS 8300:2001 (Design of Buildings and Their Approaches to Meet the Needs of Disabled People). The standard shows how architects can comply with the DDA and explains how buildings can be designed to overcome restrictions that prevent people from making full use of their surroundings.
The amendments to Part M apply to non-dwellings only and the effects of the changes on the specification of flooring and internal ramps are as follows:
Entrance hall and reception
The designer will satisfy the requirement of Part M if the reception point is identifiable from the entrance doors or lobby, and the approach to it is direct and free from obstructions.
Corridors and passageways
Floor surface materials within the internal lobby area must not impede movement.
Limits for ramp gradients
The gradient of a ramp and the distance between landings should be as follows:
The proposed changes will apply to new buildings and to existing buildings when they undergo a change of use. Listed buildings will be exempt from the changes, as will buildings where full compliance is impossible or impractical.