Tall residential buildings in the capital must have second staircase, says Khan

All planning applications for residential buildings in London of above 30 metres must now include a second staircase - "with immediate effect", according to mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Related topics:  planning,  London,  fire safety
Property | Reporter
16th February 2023
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Under the new proposals, at application stage, all tall residential buildings above this height will need to be designed with two staircases before they can be referred to the Greater London Authority for Stage 2 approval.

This follows the publication of a government consultation just before Christmas - Sprinklers in care homes, removal of national classes, and staircases in residential buildings – which proposes that new residential buildings of more than 30 metres feature a second staircase for safety purposes.

Under the consultation, which is still open until March 17, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is seeking views on future updates to Building Regulation Part B.

In the document issued on December 23, DLUHC stated that with many schemes in development and the significance of the staircase measure, it was proposing “a very short transition period” before implementing this change, with all developments encouraged “to prepare for this change now”.

In its planning pages, the Greater London Authority stated that given DLUHC’s wish to swiftly implement the second staircase measure – and “the requirements of London Plan policy D12 that all developments should achieve the highest standards of fire safety” - the mayor of London was applying his change to relevant planning applications immediately.

It said the mayor “has consistently expressed concerns that the fire safety requirements in the national Building Regulations are not fit for purpose, so the proposed strengthened requirements and clear direction at the national level are strongly supported”.

DLUHC’s other consultation proposals include removing references to national classifications (BS 476) from Approved Document B, with the current dual system for products ending and construction product manufacturers required to test their products to the British Standard version of the European Standards.

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