New fire safety planning requirements, known as planning gateway one, have come into effect this week as of 1 August 2021. The requirements will apply for relevant developments involving high-rise residential buildings and will improve fire safety for prospective residents.
The new requirements follow expert recommendation for fire safety to be considered at the planning application stage and are part of biggest changes to building safety regulation in 40 years.
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), 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 – which, led by HSE, will oversee a new safety regime for high-rise residential homes.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said:
“This is a key step in our progress towards a new, risk-based building safety regime that will ensure fire safety is prioritised at every stage in the development of high-rise buildings.
I am pleased to appoint the Health and Safety Executive as the statutory consultee, which will be on-hand to provide their expertise to local planning authorities on these important fire safety elements.
We are driving up the standards of safety for people’s homes and our new regulator – to be introduced under the Building Safety Bill – will provide this essential oversight, from a building’s initial design, to providing homes in the future.”
Press Release: New planning requirements on fire safety come into force