Richmondshire District Council

Accessibility statement for the Richmondshire Local Plan Preferred Options consultation May 2021

This Preferred Options Accessibility Statement is supplementary to the council’s website Accessibility Statement which follows the Government’s model template. The scope of this accessibility statement is the Preferred Options consultation documents, namely the Core Documents and Evidence Base, that comprises of approximately 30 downloadable PDF documents.


Legislation relating to online accessibility is set out in The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (hereafter “the Regulations”). This primarily deals with website and mobile application content.

In relation to documents, Government guidance states that: ‘Only organisations who publish documents on the main GOV.UK website should publish an accessible document policy. Public sector bodies who have their own website (for example local authorities) should talk about the accessibility of their documents in the accessibility statement for their website’.

As the Preferred Options consultation is for a time-limited period, this supplementary statement has been prepared in addition to the accessibility statement for the entire council website.

Council website

The Richmondshire District Council website is largely accessible, and the ways in which it is accessible is set out on the accessibility webpage. As a summary, features include:

  • Access keys
  • Font size
  • Colour contrast
  • Online help (AbilityNet)
  • BrowseAloud

Some parts of the council's website are not fully accessible. Which parts, why they are not accessible and compliance with the Regulations are detailed in the website Accessibility Statement.

Local Plan web pages

The Local Plan web pages form part of the council website and therefore the accessibility of their content falls under the scope of the main Accessibility Statement.

This Preferred Options Accessibility Statement is to consider the consultation documents that comprise of the Preferred Options Local Plan. There are approximately 30 documents, plus further appendices, and six Core Documents which make up Evidence Base. All of these documents will be available for the Preferred Options public consultation and are downloadable from the Local Plan web pages of our website.

At the beginning of the preferred options public consultation some of the documents are not fully accessible. However, during the course of the consultation it is proposed to improve accessibility as follows:

Core documents

The first part of the Evidence Base comprises six core documents, including:

  • The Richmondshire Local Plan: Preferred Options (Reg. 18) document
  • Sustainability Appraisal (including Strategic Environmental Assessment requirements)
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment
  • Local Development Scheme
  • Statement of Community Involvement
  • Statement of Common Ground (Duty to Co-operate)

These documents are key to showing compliance with The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 as part of the plan-making process.

These core documents will be made accessible by:

  • providing an HTML option where possible
  • tagging headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • making sure we include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they are there for
  • avoiding using tables except when we are presenting data
  • writing in plain English

Evidence base

The remaining documents in the Evidence Base have been used to inform the plan-making process and ensure the Local Plan policies are justifiable. These documents have not been made accessible because, at this time, it would be a disproportionate burden due to:

  • The number of documents
  • The cost of making all documents accessible
  • They will be published for a time-limited consultation only
  • The number of users who may potentially benefit from the documents being made accessible would be limited and we will try to meet their needs in other ways

Meeting those person's needs could include:

  • Where evidence has been used or cited, this is explained in the core documents (specifically the Local Plan document) the accessibility of which will be improved during the early part of the consultation
  • If someone requests a specific document, or part of the document, from the evidence base to be made accessible, the council will endeavour to do so within the consultation window
  • The council will make best endeavours to make reasonable adjustments, perhaps a telephone conversation or written response, to explain or cite part of an evidence base document where this would be preferable to the user. Such requests can be made by emailing You can also call 01748 829100 where you can leave a message or speak to a member of the Customer Services team and a local plan officer will respond within 2 working days

Disproportionate burden

The disproportionate burden exemption is set out in regulation 7 of the Regulations; which states that an explanation should be given in an accessibility statement. This is set out in this web page in relation to the Preferred Options consultation documents only.

Further accessibility information

Feedback and contact information, reporting accessibility problems and enforcement procedures are all available on our Accessibility Statement page.

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