Category 3 – paragraph 3.41: Do only adaptable layouts have a bath fitted above the installed level access shower?

It would be reasonable for wheelchair adaptable bathrooms to have either a level access shower or a level access shower with a bath fitted over at the point of completion. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms should have the level access shower available at point of completion. Where a bath is not provided in addition to the shower at completion there should be sufficient space above the level access shower for a bath to be fitted, whilst still being able to comply with the access zone requirements set out in diagram 3.11 once the bath is in place. These bathroom layouts should provide a turning circle of 1500mm when the door is closed as explained in paragraph 3.43e.

Category 3 – Diagram 3.10 and 3.11: Do all pipework and services need to be clear of access zones?

Stacks and services should be located outside of the grey shaded clear access zones shown for both Category 2 and Category 3 bathrooms to ensure that a wheelchair is able to use the bathroom effectively. In Category 3 wheelchair accessible bathrooms and WC/ Cloakrooms, the access zone extends to the rear of the cistern to enable assistive devices to move up to the surface of the wall. Wheelchair adaptable layouts will need to be capable of simple alteration to also meet this requirement.

Category 3 – paragraph 3.38: Do sanitary facilities need to be large enough to provide a wheelchair accessible bathroom at a future date?

The requirement for M4(3)2a is for a bathroom that is capable of simple adaptation at a future date to become wheelchair accessible in compliance with M4(3)2b. It need not be completed and delivered as a wheelchair accessible bathroom, but does need to be equiped with suitable services and adequate overall dimensions. The simplest way to demonstrate compliance is to design an accessible bathroom, and then modify the layout to meet the more relaxed requirements for an adaptable bathroom.

Category 3 – paragraph 3.36g: Do WC pans need to project no less than 700mm in order to fit with the furniture schedule and also be clear of all boxing-in and pipework?

Do WC pans need to pro-Diagrams 3.10 and 3.11 both state that the size of the sanitary units are given as minima in the furniture schedule in Appendix D. Using other sizes may affect the overall size of a bathroom or cloakroom. Using a larger unit than the 500x700mm WC + cistern given in the guidance may, therefore, impact on the overall clearances and room sizing needed to make a compliant bathroom, cloakroom or wet room. Larger units are permissible if the knock-on effect to overall room dimensions is factored into the sizing of a room’s layout. ject no less than 700mm in order to fit with the furniture schedule and also be clear of all boxing-in and pipework?

Category 3 – paragraph 3.33b: What is meant by “without the need to move structural walls, stacks or concealed drainage”?

An adaptable kitchen must be capable of being easily adapted to provide an accessible layout. Concealed drainage such as inaccessible stacks or drainage behind boxing, walls or partitions should not need to be extensively modified to support an accessible layout. It would, however, be reasonable for easily accessible connections to stacks and surface mounted drainage inside cupboards, or services mounted against walls to be altered to meet an accessible layout.

Category 3: Do grab rails and drop-down rails need to be fitted in new developments?

Reasonable provision should be made in the layout and structure of dwelling to make it easy to fit these features later, to suit any specific needs of the householder, but these are not required at completion. Note that in buildings other than dwellings, Approved Document M (Access to and use of buildings) Volume 2: Buildings other than dwellings specifies where grab rails and drop down rails should be fitted that meet the most common needs of disabled people.

Category 3 – paragraph 3.36 h: Are semi-pedestal basins permissible in bathrooms?

The intent is that wheelchair users are able to approach and use the basin. Typically this requires some space at low level below the basin for an approach to be made and for full pedestal basins to be avoided. Semi pedestal basin types are permissible, and providing that it can be demonstrated that a wheelchair user can approach the basin, the lower extent of the basin may be lower than the typical range of 400-600mm above finished floor level.

Category 3 – paragraph 3.32: Does kitchen planning in Category 3 need to anticipate the position of loose furniture such as a table or chairs? Can loose furniture encroach into the access space of 1500mm access zone in front of kitchen units?

Furnished layouts for Category 3 housing are required and in those layouts, loose furniture can encroach into the 1500mm access zone required by paragraph 3.32b, though a clear route at least 750mm wide must be provided. 1500mm clear should be maintained between any fixed building elements or kitchen cabinets.

Category 3 – paragraph 3.25a: Can a wheelchair storage and transfer space be provided in the hallway of a dwelling and does this conflict or impede the means of escape?

Ideally, the storage and transfer space should be sited adjacent to the hallway or corridor of a dwelling and nearby the principal entrance. This arrangement should also comply with escape requirements set out in Approved Document B (Fire Safety) for that type of dwelling. To do so, in some circumstances it may be necessary for the wheelchair transfer and storage space to be located away from the entrance area but still on the same storey.