In light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the subsequent inquiry, the government now wishes to tighten up how fire precautions are factored into development proposals. An update to the Planning Practice Guidance sets out that from 1st August 2021, all applications involving two or more dwellings and a building height of 18m or more/seven or more storeys will be required to submit a fire statement. It does not, however, apply to outline planning applications.
Speaking on the announcement, Steve Tapscott, Associate Director at Chapman Lily said ‘it comes as no surprise that this important issue is high on the agenda, following the Grenfell disaster. Matters of fire safety have traditionally fallen within the remit of the Building Regulations, rather than planning, but the fact that relevant planning applications will not be registered without a fire statement reinforces the importance of this new requirement. Such statements will require specialist input, most likely from architects, while the ultimate sign-off will lie with the Health and Safety Executive. Whether the HSE has the resources to process what could potentially be a significant number of these statements remains to be seen, as any backlog could potentially lead to delays in the determination of planning applications’.
If you would like to know more, please contact Chapman Lily Planning.