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Fire Statements – Part Three – What detail is required?

September 1, 2021 10:27 am

The requirement for a Fire Statement to be submitted for relevant high-rise buildings came into force on 1st August 2021. It is covered by an amendment to the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

Part three of LWF Fire Engineering’s blog series will look at the purpose of a Fire Statement, what information it should contain and how it works with existing regulations, such as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

The introduction of the requirement for a Fire Statement in the early stages of the planning process is designed to insert a planning gateway, the purpose of which is to provide focus on fire safety matters for any development involving a relevant high-rise residential building.

Fire Statements require the provision of information on fire safety matters as they relate to land use planning matters, e.g. layout and access. The information included in the Fire Statement should be relevant and concise, specific to the development in question and proportionate to the type, size and complexity of the planned development.

The Fire Statement has a specific format, published by the Secretary of State, and should be submitted on the provided Fire Statement form on the gov.uk website. There are two formats provided, one designed to be completed electronically and submitted online and another available for printing off, for those who prefer to submit a postal application. A Fire Statement may be submitted on a different form provided the form is substantially similar in content to that published by the Secretary of State.

The form asks for information about various elements of the planned development: the basic principles, concepts and approach to fire safety which have been applied to each building in the development, along with the site layout. It should illustrate how emergency vehicles will access the site and the location and type of water supplies sourced for firefighting purposes.

The statement should detail any consultation that might have taken place on issues relating to fire safety for the development and what changes or impact this has made. Applicants should show how any policies relating to fire safety in relevant local development documents have been addressed.

While the changes have been implemented to focus attention on fire safety in relevant high-rise residential buildings, the Fire Statement plan should include information on the entire site (where the site contains a relevant building), since some fire safety matters relevant to land use planning impact on the external site layout, including spaces between buildings.

The Gateway One Fire Statement will not require compliance with the Building Regulations or the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, and local planning authorities will not be responsible for any building regulation matters. The fire safety concerns addressed within the Fire Statement are relevant only to the extent they pertain to land use planning and applicants will not be asked for the in-depth  information necessary at building control application stage.

LWF’s blog series on Fire Statements includes information on the type of buildings affected by the changes, details on what information must be included and provides an overview of the application process and form. Part four of this series will focus on the application process. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own project or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

 

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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