William Eichler 03 August 2021

Planning requirements on fire safety come into force

Planning requirements on fire safety come into force image

New planning requirements on fire safety, known as planning gateway one, came into force this week.

The new requirements will ensure that high-rise developments consider fire safety at the earliest stages of planning.

Developments involving high-rise residential buildings must demonstrate they have been designed with fire safety in mind before planning permission is granted – including through their site layout – and with access provided for fire engines.

This information will be submitted as part of the planning application in a fire statement.

Local planning authorities must seek specialist advice on relevant applications from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) before a decision is made on the application.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, in future this role is likely to become part of the new Building Safety Regulator. Led by HSE, the regulator will oversee a new safety regime for high-rise residential homes.

Peter Baker, chief inspector of buildings, at HSE commented: ‘The introduction of planning gateway one is an important milestone in the journey to radically reform building safety so that residents are safe, and feel safe, in their homes. ?

‘It will ensure that fire safety is considered from the very beginning of a building’s life and that developments benefit from integrated thinking on fire safety.’

Mr Baker continued: ‘The Health and Safety Executive is now a statutory consultee for planning applications involving relevant high-rise residential buildings and will apply risk-based fire safety knowledge and expertise to evaluate planning applications. This will enable local planning authorities to make sound and informed decisions.’

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