Local councils are responsible for making sure that buildings are safe to use. This is set out in the Building Control Acts and the Building Control Regulations. When county councils, city councils or city and county councils act under this legislation, they are called building control authorities. The law gives the building control authorities certain responsibilities and certain powers to regulate the safety and accessibility of buildings such as the issuing of disability access certificates and other certificates.
A disability access certificate is normally required for:
- all new buildings, including apartments and flats, except dwelling houses and some agricultural buildings,
- material change of use, such as converting the ground floor of a house to a shop, and
- some alterations and extensions to buildings.
- Disability access certificate
- Revised disability access certificate
Information about how to apply for these certificates is available from your building control authority.
If approved, your certificate will say that the works or building will comply with the requirements in the current Building Regulations (Part M). The works or building must be in line with the plans and specifications submitted to the building control authority.
The purpose of a disability access certificate is to demonstrate how the building or works comply with the requirements of Part M (Parts M1 to M5) of the Second Schedule to the current Building Regulations.
The Regulations require adequate provision to be made for people to access and use a building, its facilities and its environs. Technical Guidance Document M (Access and Use) demonstrates how compliance may be achieved for new buildings or for existing buildings being altered, extended or re-used.
You can appeal a decision made by a building control authority on a certificate application to An Bord Pleanála.