Written Answers. - Public Buildings Regulations.

Seán Haughey

Question:

130 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will introduce new planning regulations to ensure that new and refurbished buildings have a separate invalid toilet in view of the fact that invalid facilities inside existing ladies and gents toilets are insufficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22504/98]

Richard Bruton

Question:

133 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will introduce a provision whereby all new or refurbished buildings will have a separate invalid toilet that could be availed of by persons of either sex who needed to be accompanied. [22262/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 130 and 133 together.

I assume the question refers to buildings to which the public have access. Part M of the Building Regulations, which came into operation on 1 June, 1992, deals with access for people with disabilities. Part M applies to the construction of new public buildings; and to extensions of, or works in connection with material alterations to, existing public buildings. I have issued technical guidance on compliance with Part M which specifies that provision for sanitary accommodation for disabled persons should be made available on the same basis as provision is made for other users of a building; and that, as a minimum, one unisex convenience should be provided in an accessible location in a public building to which wheelchair users have independent access, accompanied or otherwise.