The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is spearheading vital fire safety improvements in the capital, launching a full public consultation on innovative draft guidance to ensure all new developments are designed with the highest standards of fire safety from the earliest stage, keeping Londoners, their property and the fire service safe.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, in which 72 Londoners tragically lost their lives, Dame Judith Hackitt’s Review highlighted the need to transform the fire and building safety regime. Dame Judith recommended that ‘some minimum requirements around fire safety will need to be addressed when local planning authorities are determining planning applications and will require input from those with the relevant expertise’.
The Mayor has a strategic planning role for the city and his ‘London Plan’ sets out guidance for development and building across the city. The Mayor has repeatedly said that the fire safety requirements in existing national Building Regulations are not fit for purpose and the progress of reform is too slow. With this draft Fire Safety London Plan guidance, Sadiq is leading the way in London to ensure fire safety is embedded in the early stages of all planning processes.
This guidance sets out how developers should demonstrate compliance with the Mayor’s detailed London Plan policies to achieve the highest standards in fire safety and ‘safe and dignified’ evacuations. This is in addition to the Government’s fire safety considerations that apply only to a limited number of buildings at the planning application stage. This guidance is just one part of the wider work that the Mayor is undertaking to protect and support Londoners on fire safety. For example, providers of his Affordable Homes Programme must deliver high standards in fire safety and he is lobbying on behalf of flat leaseholders to stop them bearing the unfair costs of remediating their building.
The draft Fire Safety London Plan Guidance will be up for consultation from 11 February 2022 until 20 June 2022.