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It is equally important to address the functional and recreational spaces around the house as access to and within the dwelling.

Consideration should be given to:

  • Access for vehicles
  • Safe surfaces
  • Pedestrians
  • Visibility
  • Fences and gates

Access for Vehicles

  • Consideration needs to be given to the slope of the site. An entrance driveway if used for pedestrian access should not have a slope of more than 1:20.
  • Colour and texture should be used to differentiate between the vehicle and pedestrian pathways.
  • At times larger vehicles such as emergency, delivery or removal vans may require access. Turning circles are therefore important.
  • Car doors should be able to be opened without hitting walls or posts. This will allow children to be strapped into car seats and access aides such as wheel chairs and walking frames to be unloaded safely.
  • A car park or garage is best located as close to the house as possible. Provide covered and level access to the dwelling entrance.

Safe Surfaces

  • Avoid kerbs and steps and align adjoining paving levels.
  • Surfaces should offer good slip resistance in all weather conditions.
  • Water should not pool on any surface.
  • Trees and shrubs that do not drop leaves or fruit should be used in adjoining garden areas.
  • Consideration should be given to avoiding plants that have root systems that may over time alter paving levels.








  • Pathways should be a minimum of 1200mm wide and there should be included sections with a width of 1800mm which will allow for people in wheel chairs to pass.
  • Handrails should be installed where the dwelling is to cater to older and limited mobility inhabitants.
  • Pathways should be clearly delineated both in a visual and textured manner. The ground either side of a pathway should be firm and level for a minimum of 600mm.


  • Drivers should have good visibility of all other users of the property.
  • Lighting should be used to enhance visibility. Light fittings should be placed adjacent to, and not on pathways.
  • Paths should be as short as possible and take the obvious route to the destination.

Fences and Gates

  • Fences should be located where they provide privacy but do not compromise security.
  • It is important that the dwelling is visible from the street, so high fences should be avoided. Low shrubs can delineate the property boundary but still maintain visibility.
  • Self closing gates that “latch” at low force are preferable.
  • Allow 500mm between any gates and walls to allow for wheel chair approach.
  • Gates should be well illuminated at night.

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