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Add an access ramp to your house

If you or someone else is having trouble getting into your house because of a step, you can build an access ramp to help make things easier. 

This guidance only applies if your home is a dwellinghouse. This means it's a house you live in and is not used as a business premise to any significant degree.

Permitted development

Before you arrange to have an access ramp built outside your home, you should first check to see if you need to apply for planning permission.

You'll have automatic planning permission if your ramp qualifies for 'permitted development'.

This means it meets a specific set of rules about its size and length.

You will not need to apply for planning permission to add an access ramp to your house as long as:

  • the combined length of all flights (sloped sections) is less than 5 metres
  • the combined length of all flights and landings (flat sections) is less than 9 metres
  • the combined height of the ramp, including handrails or any other structure, is no higher than 1.5 metres
  • any part of the ramp itself is no higher than 40 centimetres
  • it's not within the curtilage of a listed building or within a conservation area

For a more detailed explanation of what's considered a permitted development when adding an access ramp to your house, read the Scottish Government's Guidance on Householder Permitted Development rights publication and go to section 4.56.

Planning permission

If you want to build an access ramp but it does not meet the conditions for permitted development, you have to apply for planning permission.

Find out how to apply for planning permission, or contact your local authority for further information.

Aberdeen City Council Aberdeenshire Council Angus Council Argyll and Bute Council Cairngorms National Park Authority Clackmannanshire Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) Dumfries & Galloway Council Dundee City Council East Ayrshire Council East Dunbartonshire Council East Lothian Council East Renfrewshire Council Edinburgh Council Falkirk Council Fife Council Glasgow City Council Highland Council Inverclyde Council Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority Midlothian Council Moray Council North Ayrshire Council North Lanarkshire Council Orkney Islands Council Perth & Kinross Council Renfrewshire Council Scottish Borders Council Shetland Islands Council South Ayrshire Council South Lanarkshire Council Stirling Council West Dunbartonshire Council West Lothian Council

You should always check with your council's planning department to see whether you need to apply for planning permission. Even if you meet the permitted development rules, there may be other approvals you'll need to get.

Other approvals

You might need other approvals before you can carry out work. For example, you might need approval under the building regulations from the local council.

If you do not own the land on which the development is being carried out (for example, if you're a tenant or the land's in joint ownership), you need to get the landowner's permission.

If you live in a listed building you'll also need to obtain listed building consent.

It's your responsibility to make sure you get any necessary approval.

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