Optional requirement M4(3): Category 3 – Wheelchair user dwellings

  1. Optional Requirement

    Optional Requirement

    This section of the approved document deals with the following optional requirement from Part M of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.


    Optional requirement

    Category 3 – wheelchair user dwellings M4(3) optional requirement

    (1) Reasonable provision must be made for people to—
    (a) gain access to, and
    (b) use, the dwelling and its facilities.

    (2) The provision made must be sufficient to—
    (a) allow simple adaptation of the dwelling to meet the needs of occupants who use wheelchairs; or
    (b) meet the needs of occupants who use wheelchairs.

    Limits on application

    Optional requirement M4(3)—
    (a) may apply only in relation to a dwelling that is erected;
    (b) will apply in substitution for requirement M4(1);
    (c) does not apply where optional requirement M4(2) applies;
    (d) does not apply to any part of a building that is used solely to enable the building or any service or fitting in the building to be inspected, repaired or maintained.

    Optional requirement M4(3) (2)(b) applies only where the planning permission under which the building work is carried out specifies that it shall be complied with.


    In the Secretary of State’s view, optional requirement M4(3) will be met where a new dwelling makes reasonable provision, either at completion or at a point following completion, for a wheelchair user to live in the dwelling and use any associated private outdoor space, parking and communal facilities that may be provided for the use of the occupants. Reasonable provision is made if the dwelling complies with all of the following.

    a. Within the curtilage of the dwelling or of the building containing the dwelling, a wheelchair user can approach and gain step-free access to every private entrance to the dwelling and to every associated private outdoor space, parking space and communal facility for occupants’ use.

    b. Access to the WC and other accommodation within the entrance storey is step-free and the dwelling is designed to have the potential for step-free access to all other parts.

    c. There is sufficient internal space to make accommodation within the dwelling suitable for a wheelchair user.

    d. The dwelling is wheelchair adaptable such that key parts of the accommodation, including sanitary facilities and kitchens, could be easily altered to meet the needs of a wheelchair user or, where required by a local planning authority, the dwelling is wheelchair accessible.

    e. Wall-mounted switches, controls and socket outlets are accessible to people who have reduced reach.