As the Government is urged to make accessible, adaptable housing mandatory within local plans, public and private sector housing developers are being offered a simple way to achieve it from Closomat.

Leading social provider Habinteg is lobbying the Government to ensure more new homes meet the Building Regulations Approved Document M4(2) baseline of being accessible for disabled people and those with reduced mobility. It points out that currently only seven percent of homes in England meet the basic ‘visitable’ criteria, yet, according to Scope, there are almost 14 million disabled people in the UK.

Closomat, a provider of accessible toilet and bathroom fixtures, says it is not hard for homes to be built to meet the M4(2) criteria, especially in the bathroom.

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“The bathroom is perhaps the most important room in a home that is accessible,” said Robin Tuffley, Closomat Marketing Manager. “It is the room most frequently adapted, and the toilet the fixture most commonly altered.

“Yet a little thought at the initial design stage, and little extra cost during construction, could ensure it is both appropriate for all occupants’ needs, even if those needs are different, and easily adaptable.

“Tiny changes to a design before a brick is laid – level access, space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, a peninsular WC, walls strong enough to support grab rails under load – can make it a bathroom fit for life, and deliver new housing that meets the needs of our increasingly elderly and disabled population- now, and for the future. That saves money in the long term, reducing the requirement for retrospective, disruptive and often compromised, alteration and adaptation.”

Closomat has produced a simple quick reference guide that highlights key areas to consider in the bathroom in accessible housing. The guide can be downloaded for free from the company’s resources tab on its website 

The company offers construction, design and management compliant support from design advice to supply, installation, and subsequent service & maintenance options for public and private housing providers.

According to Closomat, its expertise represents the combined wealth of knowledge amassed from almost 60 years of helping providers to meet the needs of disabled people by optimising their dignity and independence in the bathroom, at home and away.

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