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Government warns council chiefs over fire safety in new buildings

02 March 2018

THE DEPUTY of Building Regulations has has written to council leaders to highlight their key fire safety responsibilities.

Offer Stern-Weiner sent a letter council bosses warning them of their responsibilities after Dame Judith Hackitt published her interim report for the independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. 

In the letter, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) urged council chief executives to seek advice from the fire and rescue service early in the process of designing and commissioning new buildings.

Mr Stern-Weiner wrote: “Consultation with the fire and rescue authorities should take place as early as possible. In particular, local authorities would need the views of the fire and rescue authority before approving a full plans application under s16 of the Buildings Act and approved inspectors before giving a plans certificate under s50 of the same Act.

“Observations made by the fire and rescue authority that are relevant to compliance with Building Regulations should be given full consideration by the building control body.”

He also confirmed that the government intends to launch a consultation on making two sets of changes to Approved Document B (ADB) once the full independent report has been published. This will include discussions on rewording the sections on assessments in lieu of testing, also known as desktop studies. The government also intends to consult over wider changes to ADB, which it hopes will make it “easier to use” and more “user-friendly”.

You can read the letter in full at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/683318/Circular_letter_on_Dame_Judith_Hackitt_s_Interim_Report.pdf