Add an access ramp to your house

Last updated: 17 July 2017

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 won't need planning permission to add an access ramp to your house as long as:

  • the length of all flights (sloped sections) is less than 5 meters
  • the length of all flights and landings (flat sections) is less than 9 meters
  • the total height of the ramp, including handrails, is no higher than 1.5 metres
  • the height of the platform is no higher than 40 centimetres
  • its not within the curtilage (the grounds behind your home) 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 doesn't 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 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 don't 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 may need to get the landowner's permission.

If you live in a listed building you will probably also need to obtain listed building consent.

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