As a first step to introducing the Government’s new Building Safety Bill a number of new requirements have been added into the planning system (referred to as Planning Gateway One).
The purpose of the new requirements is to ensure fire safety matters as they relate to land use planning are incorporated at the planning stage for schemes involving a relevant high-rise residential building. These changes came into effect on 1st August 2021 and involves the Building Safety Regulator under the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) becoming a statutory consultee before permission is granted for the development.
What type of buildings are “relevant buildings”?
Relevant buildings contain two or more dwellings or educational accommodation and meet the height condition (18m or more in height, or 7 or more storeys whichever is reached first).
Fire statements will support the consideration of information on fire safety matters as they relate to land use planning matters (e.g. layout and access). It is the intention that the information provided within the fire statement is focussed and concise, specific and relevant to the development, and proportionate to the scale, type and complexity of the proposal. A fire statement will evidence thinking that fire safety matters, as they relate to planning, have been incorporated into the planning application.
The fire statement must be on a form published by the Secretary of State (or a form to substantially the same effect); and include the particulars specified or referred to in the form. Competence, qualifications and experience will need to be demonstrated for the person producing the fire statement and it is a recommendation that they are completed by a suitably qualified engineer with relevant experience in fire safety.