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» Back to listing HSE publishes fire safety guidance for building planning stage

14th September 2023

Advice on the fire safety matters that should be considered by local planning authorities, applicants and other technical specialists involved in high rise residential and educational accommodation buildings at the planning stage, has been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Planning Gateway One established the HSE as a statutory consultee for developments that include a “relevant building” i.e. a building that contains two or more dwellings or educational accommodation and is 18m or more – or seven storeys or more – high. Planning Gateway One was introduced in June 2021 and is intended to ensure that applicants and decision makers consider planning issues relevant to fire safety at the earliest possible stage, with the aim of producing “better schemes which fully integrate thinking on fire safety”. The HSE’s guidance continues: “Considering fire safety at the planning stage allows proposals to be assessed when they are still on paper and can be more easily changed. Intervening at the planning stage avoids poor fire safety design from being included and needing to be rectified once the development is under construction or built.”

Applicants also have to submit a prescribed Fire Safety Form as part of an application for full planning permission for a development.

Planning Gateway One covers the whole of England and is not regionalised like some other statutory consultees, with meetings held virtually. Once the request for advice has been administered, the case is allocated to one of the Fire Safety Information Assessors – qualified fire specialists who provide advice to the local planning authority or pre-application advice. 

Further information can be found at Planning and fire safety - Planning and fire safety - Planning Portal.

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