Guest Post: Guide to ensuring ‘reasonable access’ into buildings

Guest Post: Guide to ensuring ‘reasonable access’ into buildings

Access into buildings used to be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. This Act was superseded by the Equalities Act 2010. The Equalities Act states that there should be ‘reasonable access’ into buildings.

But what is ‘reasonable access?’

If a company is undertaking a significant refurbishment of a public building, it would be ‘reasonable’ for the company to ensure there was high quality disabled access embedded into the building, however a small restaurant with a ramp would have met the ‘reasonable access’ criteria as the cost is in proportion to the business. ‘Reasonable access’ is a subjective term. Disabled Access systems also need to comply with Building Regulations Document M, BS8300 and the National Planning Framework.

English Heritage: Disabled Access into Listed Buildings

What are the regulations relating to wheelchair access into Listed Buildings? Is there an alternative to wheelchair ramps or building ramps?

Key legislation on disabled access is the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Wheelchair access solutions into listed buildings must be approved by English Heritage, or the Scottish equivalent, Heritage Scotland.

English Heritage approval is required for disabled modifications to Grade I and Grade II* Listed Buildings. In addition, English Heritage is usually consulted on wheelchair adaptations to Grade II Listed Buildings. English Heritage will confirm their approval to Local Councils, as part of the Council’s planning process.

English Heritage support high quality disabled adaptations to Listed Buildings. They know that buildings need to be commercially viable, and so all customers should be welcome, including wheelchair users. English Heritage do, however, require that the architectural merit of the building protected, so adaptations need to be high quality and ideally discrete.

English Heritage: Easy Access into Listed Buildings 2012 is a key document which states English Heritage’s position:

“With the right kind of thought and discussion a way can be found round almost any barrier”
Baroness Andrews -- Chair English Heritage

“The survival of most historic buildings depends upon their continued, viable use and this may, among other things, require alterations to improve access”

Sesame Access Systems Ltd has installed over 70 high quality wheelchair access lifts into buildings in UK and Europe. This includes Grade I and Grade II* Listed Buildings. Although English Heritage does not endorse individual products, English Heritage has approved Sesame Access lifts into Listed Buildings. Sesame Access installs bespoke platform lifts, scissor lifts and retracting stair lifts.

John Brash Timber Canary Wharf Decking

Sesame Access believe DDA compliance is a very important factor within any company, especially one that aims to be focused entirely on providing good and reliable disabled access.

If you would like more information on how Sesame Access get from first enquiry to a completed and installed Bespoke Sesame Access lift, please click here. Alternatively if you would like to know more about how the company goes about achieving DDA compliance, please give them a call on 01784 440088 or email

Add to Project Board

Create a new project board:

Posted by
Lauren Easton - Editorial Account Manager

Related Blog Articles