Access for All

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

Cadw is committed to the principle of full access, wherever it is practical to provide it.  We aim to provide safe and easy access to all buildings in our care, within the limits of any particular structure. We also encourage others to put in place schemes to improve access for all people in our society, which take into account the special character of historic buildings.

Cadw believes that suitable access for all can almost always be found so long as imaginative and innovative approaches are explored fully. The aim in dealing with adaptations as part of the statutory planning process should be to seek solutions to overcome barriers in a positive way.

Cadw issued advice to local authorities and others in 2002, Overcoming the Barriers, which offers suggestions on ways to improve physical access into and within historic buildings. While the basic principles in Overcoming the Barriers remain valid, the document now needs updating. Cadw is reviewing it and will issue a revised edition in due course.

Many local authorities have developed their own guidance and practice, often in conjunction with disability groups, to enable them to consider applications for consent to alterations to facilitate access.

Under new regulations that came into force on 1 September 2017, a heritage impact statement, rather than a design and access statement, will be required to support a listed building consent application. This new statement aims to make sure that the significance of the historic asset is fully considered. Nevertheless, access issues must still be addressed unless the proposed works involve a private dwelling.  

A design and access statement may still be required to support planning applications. Further guidance is available in Design and Access Statements in Wales.