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    Help and Advice Planning Gateway One: New Fire Safety Planning Requirements

    Planning Gateway One: New Fire Safety Planning Requirements

    Fire safety is something that should always be evolving. As we learn more, it becomes important to put that knowledge into practice to save as many lives as possible.

    The unpredictable nature of fire often makes this difficult, but there are always improvements to be made to mitigate the risk and the impact of fires.

    Planning Gateway One: New Fire Safety Planning Requirements

    From the devastation of the Grenfell Tower fire, new guidance and measures have now been implemented for high-rise residential buildings. As of 1st August 2021, new measures will take effect, something the government has called ‘planning gateway one’. This month, at City Fire Protection, we’ll break down what this is all about and how it impacts fire safety for planning.

    What is planning gateway one?

    Planning gateway one is the name given to the measures introduced by the government on the back of consultations, and the dangers highlighted therein, with the building and planning of high-rise residential buildings.

    There are two things these changes mean if you’re planning a new high-rise development:

    1. Developers must now submit a fire statement for planned developments, along with their planning permission.
    2. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) becomes the statutory consultee for the aforementioned development plans.

    Remember: As of 1st August 2021, these new measures will take effect.

    Which buildings require planning gateway one?

    Planning gateway one is for new high-rise residential developments or developments being planned for existing buildings. This is classed as any building which has two or more dwellings or “educational accommodation” (meaning flats used for students at boarding school or university). The building must also be 18m or more in height or at least 7 storeys to be classed as a relevant building under these changes.

    Blueprints for a Building Plan

    What is a fire statement?

    A fire statement should be used to support a planning application with information about fire safety for the proposed development. It should be “concise, specific and relevant to the development…and complexity of the proposal” according to the government’s website. It should have the following five key areas as part of the fire statement:

    1. The approach and concepts that have been put in place for each planned building
    2. The layout of the site overall
    3. Access for emergency vehicles and the provision of a water supply for firefighting
    4. Details of any consultations that have taken place regarding fire safety (and how this has been factored into the development plans)
    5. Any fire safety policies that relate to local development documents and how they have been factored into development plans

    Your fire statement should cover the whole of a site, including external spaces that run around the building, not just the structure itself.

    Why has planning gateway one been introduced?

    The Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt was used to investigate and shed light on alterations to minimum requirements for fire safety when planning. This comes off the back of a call for greater scrutiny for such developments in light of recent tragic events.

    It should be noted that these changes do not replace or duplicate your legal obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. Planning gateway one is only for land use planning to ensure fire safety is more carefully considered at the earliest possible stage, with a qualified consultation from the HSE before permission is granted.

    Has anything else changed?

    Back in July of 2021, the Housing Secretary created the Building Safety Bill, which saw an overhaul of standards for new residential buildings in terms of maintenance and construction.

    You can find more information and detail about these changes for high-rise fire safety on the government website.

    Here at City Fire Protection, we’ve been providing London, Birmingham and surrounding regions with expert fire safety services for over 20 years and make it our business to stay up to date with all the latest fire safety laws and regulations.

    If you need fire alarms, fire extinguishers or even a fire risk assessment for your existing high-rise building, look no further than our dedicated, qualified team. Call us today on 0800 9981 908 and we’ll be happy to help.

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