InSite | New Building Fire Safety Regulations Proposed

New Building Fire Safety Regulations Proposed


In June 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued a regulatory reform consultation paper which is applicable to both proposed and existing multi-occupied residential buildings that are 30 metres in height or more. The consultation further indicates that the trigger height will potentially be reduced to 18.0m. The consultation is a further development and extension of the findings in the Dame Judith Hackitt final report and considers both the structural safety and fire safety of the building. If the reform proposals are accepted they will become mandatory requirements.


The main recommendations to come from this paper were:


  • Create a more effective regulatory and accountability framework to increase the oversight into the industry
  • Introduce clearer standards and guidance
  • Put residents at the forefront of the new system of building safety
  • Create a more responsible building industry, from design all the way through to construction and management


The consultation paper also set out a series of the proposals. One being the forming of a new regulatory body called the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to come into place. It will be responsible at a national level for:

  • Oversight of building safety and wider regulation;
  • Oversight of operation and enforcement of the new regime for high rise residential buildings, and setting guidance
  • Advising government on what buildings should be included in the scope of the new regime, by developing and analysing evidence on risk
  • Oversight of competence of people working on buildings, including keeping a register of those competent to take on key duty holder roles in the new system and providing guidance on where to find qualified people to work on buildings in scope.



One of the focus points of the government’s response lies in managing the risks during the key stages of construction. From this they set out three gateways to ensure that each duty holder is managing the build correctly in order to move onto the next stage. The three gateways are as follows:


  • Gateway One – before planning permission is granted
  • Gateway Two – before construction begins
  • Gateway Three – before occupation begins


Gateway One

Gateway one will be part of the planning permission stage, the applicant will be required to submit a Fire Statement with their planning application. The local planning authority will then need to consult the BSR and potentially the fire and rescue authority before granting planning permission.  


Gateway Two

This gateway will require the duty holders to provide full documentation and plans of the build, showing that they are complying with the building regulations. The proposal being that documentations will include a 3D model of the building as it’s planned. It will also require details of all the products and materials that will be used to complete the build.


Gateway Three

In this stage, the duty holders will be required to hand over all the building safety information about the final as-built building to the building Duty Holder, before it can be occupied. As a minimum, the client must apply for and receive a provisional registration from the building safety regulator and evidence that building risks have been appropriately assessed and arrangements are in place for it to be operated safely during the occupation phase.  



No time lines have been formally announced. It’s expected, that the regulatory reform will come into some time in 2021 / 2022, followed by a transition period.


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