Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
August 3, 2021


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Building safety

New residential high-rise development plans required to incorporate fire safety considerations as Planning Gateway One comes into force

From 1st August, new planning requirements (Planning Gateway One) came into force on developments involving high-rise residential buildings, with fire safety issues needing to be incorporated into schemes before planning permission is granted.

Construction-PlanningGatewayOne-21Planning Gateway One has been introduced as a result of the government commissioned independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, following the Grenfell Tower fire. The report highlighted the need to transform the fire and building safety regime and recommended that “some minimum requirements around fire safety will need to be addressed when local planning authorities are determining planning applications and will require input from those with the relevant expertise.”

The new planning requirements will mean thinking on fire safety issues, such as access for fire engines and water supply levels, will need to be incorporated into schemes before planning permission is granted. Relevant buildings include ones that contain two or more dwellings or educational accommodation and meet the height condition of 18m in height, or seven or more storeys.

The Government has published new planning guidance and fire statement forms (links below) that professionals will need to use from 1st August for Planning Gateway One.

Planning Gateway One has two key elements:

  1. To require the developer to submit a fire statement setting out fire safety considerations specific to the development with a relevant application for planning permission for development which involves one or more relevant buildings
  2. To establish the Health and Safety Executive as a statutory consultee for relevant planning applications.

The changes are intended to help ensure that applicants and decision-makers consider planning issues relevant to fire safety, bringing forward thinking on fire safety matters as they relate to land use planning to the earliest possible stage in the development process and result in better schemes which fully integrate thinking on fire safety.

It is noted that it may be necessary to amend the provisions in future to align with arrangements to be made under the Building Safety Bill.

Housing Minister Rt Hon 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.”

Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings, at Health and Safety Executive said:

“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.

“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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