Section 2B: Private entrances and spaces within the dwelling

  1. Application

    Application

    2.18 The provisions of Section 2B apply only where a planning condition requires compliance with optional requirement M4(2) for accessible and adaptable dwellings (see paragraphs 0.3 to 0.6).

    2.19 The provisions of Section 2B apply to private entrances, other external doors and key elements within the dwelling.

    Private entrances

    Principal private entrance and alternative entrance

    2.20 The principal private entrance, or the alternative private entrance where step-free access cannot be achieved to the principal private entrance, should comply with all of the following.

    a. There is a level external landing with a minimum width and depth of 1200mm.

    b. The landing is covered for a minimum width of 900mm and a minimum depth of 600mm.

    c. Lighting is provided which uses fully diffused luminaires activated automatically by a dusk to dawn timer or by detecting motion.

    d. The door has a minimum clear opening width of 850mm when measured in accordance with Diagram 2.2.

    e. Where there are double doors, the main (or leading) leaf provides the required minimum clear opening width.

    f. A minimum 300m nib is provided to the leading edge of the door and the extra width created by this nib is maintained for a minimum distance of 1200mm beyond it.

    g. The depth of the reveal on the leading side of the door (usually the inside) is a maximum of 200mm.

    h. The threshold is an accessible threshold.

    i. Where there is a lobby or porch, the doors are a minimum of 1500mm apart and there is at least 1500mm between door swings.

    Other external doors

    2.21 All other external doors – including doors to and from a private garden, balcony, terrace, garage, carport, conservatory or storage area that is integral with, or connected to, the dwelling – should comply with provisions d. to i. of paragraph 2.20.

    Circulation areas and internal doorways

    Door and hall widths

    2.22 To facilitate movement into, and between, rooms throughout the dwelling, doors and corridors should comply with all of the following (see Diagram 3).

    a. The minimum clear width of every hall or landing is 900mm.

    b. Any localised obstruction, such as a radiator, does not occur opposite or close to a doorway or at a change of direction and is no longer than 2m in length; and the corridor is not reduced below a minimum 750mm width at any point.

    c. Every door has a minimum clear opening width as set out in Table 2.1.

    d. A minimum 300mm nib is provided to the leading edge of every door within the entrance storey.

    2.3 Minimum door and hall widths and restrictions on localised obstructions Diagram 2.3 Minimum door and hall widths and restrictions on localised obstructions

    Table 2.1 Minimum widths of corridors and passageways for a range of doorway widths

    Table 2.1 Minimum widths of corridors and passageways for a range of doorway widths.

    NOTE 1: The provisions of paragraph 2.22 do not apply to:

    • cupboards unless large enough to be entered, or
    • en-suite bathrooms or showers that are additional to the provisions of paragraphs 2.26 to 2.29.

    NOTE 2: Double doors effectively provide nibs where each leaf is at least 300mm wide.

    NOTE 3: A standard 826mm door leaf up to 44mm thick will be deemed to satisfy a requirement for a clear opening width of 775mm.

    Private stairs and changes of level within the dwelling

    2.23 To allow people to move between storeys, and to allow a stair-lift to be fitted to the stairs from the entrance storey to the storey above (or the storey below where this contains the bathroom required by the provisions of paragraph 2.29), stairs should comply with all of the following.

    a. Access to all rooms and facilities within the entrance storey is step-free.

    b. Level changes within every other storey are avoided where possible.

    c. The stair from the entrance storey to the storey above (or below) has a minimum clear width of 850mm when measured 450mm above the pitch line of the treads (ignoring any newel post).

    d. All stairs meet the provisions of Part K for private stairs.

    Habitable rooms

    Living, kitchen and eating areas

    2.24 To provide usable living spaces and easy, step-free access between a living area, a WC and the principal private entrance, key accommodation should comply with all of the following.

    a. Within the entrance storey there is a living area (which may be a living room, dining room or a combined kitchen and dining room).

    b. A minimum 1200mm clear space is provided in front of and between all kitchen units and appliances.

    c. Glazing to the principal window of the principal living area starts a maximum of 850mm above floor level or at the minimum height necessary to comply with the requirements of Part K for guarding to windows.

    Bedrooms

    2.25 To enable a wide range of people to access and use them, bedrooms should comply with all of the following.

    a. Every bedroom can provide a clear access route a minimum 750mm wide from the doorway to the window.

    b. At least one double bedroom (the principal bedroom) can provide a clear access zone a minimum 750mm wide to both sides and the foot of the bed.

    c. Every other double bedroom can provide a clear access zone a minimum 750mm wide to one side and the foot of the bed.

    d. All single and twin bedrooms can provide a clear access zone a minimum 750mm wide to one side of each bed.

    e. It can be demonstrated (for example by providing dimensioned bedroom layouts, similar to the example in Diagram 2.4) that the provisions above can be achieved.

    NOTE: For the purpose of demonstrating compliance with these provisions, beds should be of the size set out in the furniture schedule in Appendix D.

    2.4 Clear access zones to principal bedroom Diagram 2.4 Clear access zones to principal bedroom.

    Sanitary facilities

    General provisions

    2.26 All walls, ducts and boxings to the WC/cloakroom, bathroom and shower room should be strong enough to support grab rails, seats and other adaptations that could impose a load of up to 1.5kN/m2. Additional sanitary facilities beyond those required to comply with this guidance need not have strengthened walls.

    NOTE: The loading for strengthened walls is considered suitable for many types of adaptations but additional localised strengthening may be required if adaptations are fitted that impose high point loads.

    WC facilities on the entrance storey

    2.27 To provide step-free access to a WC that is suitable and convenient for some wheelchair users and, where reasonable, to make provision for showering, dwellings should comply with all of the following.

    a. Every dwelling has a room within the entrance storey that provides a WC and basin (which may be within a WC/cloakroom or a bathroom).

    b. In a two or three storey dwelling with one or two bedrooms, the WC (together with its associated clear access zone) meets the provisions of Diagram 1.3 and the basin does not impede access to the WC.

    c. In a two or three storey dwelling with three or more bedrooms, the room with the WC and basin also provides an installed level access shower or a potential level access shower, and the shower, WC and basin (together with their associated clear access zones) meet the provisions of Diagram 2.5. Examples of compliant WC layouts are shown in Diagram 2.6.

    d. The door opens outwards.

    2.5 Sanitary fittings, associated clear access zones and permitted encroachment of basins Diagram 2.5 Sanitary fittings, associated clear access zones and permitted encroachment of basins.

    2.6 Examples of WC-cloakroom layouts Diagram 2.6 Examples of WC-cloakroom layouts.

    2.28 Where the dwelling provides both an accessible bathroom with a WC and a WC/cloakroom within the same storey, the WC/cloakroom may comply with the provisions of Diagram 1.3.

    Bathrooms

    2.29 To provide convenient access to a suitable bathroom, the dwelling should comply with all of the following.

    a. Every dwelling has a bathroom that contains a WC, a basin and a bath, that is located on the same floor as the double bedroom, described as the principal bedroom in paragraph 2.25b.

    b. The WC, basin and bath (together with their associated clear access zones) meet the provisions of Diagram 2.5. Examples of bathroom layouts are shown in Diagram 2.7.

    c. Provision for a potential level access shower is made within the bathroom if not provided elsewhere within the dwelling.

    2.7 Examples of Category 2 bathrooms Diagram 2.7 Examples of Category 2 bathrooms

    Services and controls

    2.30 To assist people who have reduced reach, services and controls should comply with all of the following.

    a. Consumer units are mounted so that the switches are between 1350mm and 1450mm above floor level.

    b. Switches, sockets, stopcocks and controls have their centre line between 450mm and 1200mm above floor level and a minimum of 300mm (measured horizontally) from an inside corner.

    c. The handle to at least one window in the principal living area is located between 450mm and 1200mm above floor level, unless the window is fitted with a remote opening device that is within this height range.

    d. Handles to all other windows are located between 450mm and 1400mm above floor level, unless fitted with a remote opening device that is within this height range.

    e. Either:

    • boiler timer controls and thermostats are mounted between 900mm and 1200mm above finished floor level on the boiler, or
    • separate controllers (wired or wireless) are mounted elsewhere in an accessible location within the same height range.

    NOTE: Controls that are part of a radiator or cooker hood are exempt from these provisions.