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Written Answers. - Industrial Development.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 418. Mr. McHugh Information on Paddy McHugh Zoom on Paddy McHugh  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen  if he will put in place a five year programme to ensure that all new developments are accessible and all areas are repaired, renovated or upgraded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24671/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen Since 1 June 1992, under part M of the building regulations, persons constructing new buildings, or extending existing buildings to which the public have access, whether publicly or privately owned, are obliged to provide access for people with disabilities.

The provision of disabled access facilities to other existing buildings to which the public have access is a matter for the owners and occupiers of the buildings concerned. Departments and local authorities have been requested by my Department, on a number of occasions, to ensure that appropriate provision is made for access facilities for people with disabilities to all buildings under their control.

[1161]Amendments to part M of the building regulations came into effect on 1 January 2001 and require all new dwellings to be accessible to people with disabilities. The amending regulations also impose a more stringent requirement regarding access for the disabled to new or extended non-residential buildings, including places of employment and leisure, hotels and cinemas. Such access will now have to be adequate, not just reasonable.

Compliance with the building regulations is primarily a matter for the owners, designers and builders of the buildings involved. My Department has published updated technical guidance document M, 2000 edition, on how to comply with the requirements of the amended part M.

Local building control authorities are responsible for monitoring and enforcement of compliance with the regulations. The authorities are empowered to inspect buildings, issue enforcement notices for non-compliance with the regulations and initiate court proceedings.


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