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Last edited 03 Aug 2021
On 2 August 2021, a new requirement, known as planning gateway one, came into force to ensure that relevant high-rise developments consider fire safety at the earliest stages. The government describes this as part of biggest changes to building safety regulation in 40 years.
Developments involving high-rise residential buildings must now demonstrate they have been designed with fire safety in mind before planning permission is granted. 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), as the statutory consultee on fire safety, before a decision is made on the application. In future, this role is likely to become part of the new Building Safety Regulator.
Fire statements support consideration of information on fire safety matters as they relate to land use planning matters only (such as site layout, water supplies for firefighting purposes and access for fire appliances). Information should be focussed and concise, specific and relevant to the development, and proportionate to the scale, type and complexity of the proposal. It should demonstrate that thinking on fire safety matters, as they relate to planning, has been incorporated into the planning application.
- The principles, concepts and approach relating to fire safety that have been applied to each building in the development.
- The site layout.
- Emergency vehicle access and water supplies for firefighting purposes.
- What, if any, consultation has been undertaken on issues relating to the fire safety of the development; and what account has been taken of this.
- How any policies relating to fire safety in relevant local development documents have been taken into account.
More guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fire-safety-and-high-rise-residential-buildings-from-1-august-2021
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