Letter to Editor: lack of accessible accommodation in Stirling

July 11, 2019

 

Robert Dick, chair of SAAP, recently wrote to the Stirling Observer to voice concern disability discrimination with a proposal for a new student flat development.  The letter was published by the Stirling Observer on 3 July 2019.

 

We show a copy of his letter below: 

 

 

"There is an important point being missed with the continued growth of student accommodation in Stirling and that is the provision of accessible bedrooms and buildings, which are not currently being offered by any developer.  

 

"The Scottish Government recognises that 20 percent of the population has a physical or sensory issue yet, e.g., the Riverside Quay flats development has no provision for disabled or wheelchair students. 

 

"When Stirling Council was considering the planning application in January 2016, we objected as the plans featured no accessible bedrooms, and accessiblity in the building was impossible for wheelchair users. 

 

"Although this development does not meet the aims of the Equality Act 2010, the Scottish Government Reporter chose to approve it.  Despite this, SAAP will continue to advocate the rights of disabled students. 

 

Sadly, there are two further significant student developments which have been submitted to planning recently and neither, in our view, provides correct accommodation or any other provision for disabled students.  Of course, an accessible bedroom may also be used by any student and obviously, lifts are needed by wheelchair users in multi-storey buildings.

 

"We are supposed to be an inclusive society, yet developers and other bodies continue to ignore the needs of society which should be providing educational opportunities for all young adults. 

 

"Unless there is a change to Scottish planning legislation for student developments, this discrimination and non-compliance with rules regarding access will continue in Stirling."

 

Robert Dick, chair, Stirling Area Access Panel

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