Add an access ramp to your house

Last updated: 11 June 2018

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.

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 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 meters
  • the combined length of all flights and landings (flat sections) is less than 9 meters
  • 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

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.

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 Planning Authority for further information.

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.