Building control and regulatory process changes

Second staircases in all new tall residential buildings from 2026

The government has released new guidance in relation to tall residential buildings over 18 metres, adding to recent fire safety measures and reforms to ensure safety in new and existing tall buildings. The guidance will be mandatory from 30 September 2026.

This follows a public consultation, after which the government announced its intent to set a threshold height of 18 metres above which a second staircase should be provided in residential buildings – a change which reflects views of experts including the National Fire Chiefs Council and Royal Institute of British Architects

Note that existing tall buildings are also being considered as part of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s recommendations. The Home Office is currently considering responses to their consultation on personal emergency evacuation plans, to which a response will be published in due course. 

There will be a transitional period of 30 months, during which applications can conform to either the previous or updated guidance which requires a second staircase. When the 30 months have passed, all applications will be required to conform to the new guidance.

Higher-Risk Buildings

The government has added the answers to more FAQs about the transitional period and registration here.

Higher-Risk Buildings transitional period ends

The government in February set out changes made to the building control process for higher-risk buildings and the wider changes to procedural building regulations that came into force on 1 October 2023, from which date the building control authority is the Building Safety Regulator. 

There was a transitional period in play, and to continue to benefit from the transitional arrangements on and after 6 April 2024, the in-scope building work must satisfy the definition of “sufficiently progressed” before that date. In addition, the person carrying out the work must notify the local authority no more than 5 days after the point the work is sufficiently progressed and before 6 April 2024.

Building Control Profession Registration

The building control profession will be a registered profession on 6 April 2024 ( Building (Approved Inspectors etc. and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023). An approved inspector overseeing existing in-scope building work must have registered by 6 April 2024 for the in-scope building work to continue to benefit from the transitional arrangements and remain under private sector building control.

Posted on 04/03/2024 by Ortolan

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