Bureau Veritas highlights “crucial” nature of Gateway One regulations
12 October 2021
FOLLOWING ON from the publication of the Government’s Building Safety Bill and its 53 recommendations for driving cultural change and emboldening safety improvements in the construction sector, building control and regulation specialist Bureau Veritas is reminding developers of the importance of meeting the Gateway One regulations now in force across England and Wales.
Introduced back in August, Gateway One requires developers to submit a fire statement setting out fire safety considerations specific to a proposed development with a relevant application for planning permission, and which involves one or more ‘relevant buildings’. This includes buildings that contain two or more homes, educational accommodation or high-rise buildings of 18 metres (or seven storeys) in height or taller.
Gateway One is one of three proposed ‘Gateways’ that developers will need to adhere to under the new plans. The latter are collectively designed to create a ‘golden thread’ of information in the form of a digital record of how a given building has been designed and built and, subsequently, both managed and operated. The remaining ‘Gateways’ are set to be introduced as the Building Safety Bill passes through the Houses of Parliament.
Andy Lowe, technical and training director for building control at Bureau Veritas, explained: “The Building Safety Bill sets out a clear framework for the design, construction and management of high-rise and multi-tenanted buildings in what is the biggest transformation of the building regulation system in our time. While Gateway One largely uses the existing planning permission process, there’s a now a mandatory requirement for developers to submit a fire statement as part of this. That may sound simple enough, but if it’s wrong then this could create delays at the planning stage.”
Under the new regulations, the new Building Safety Regulator (part of the Health and Safety Executive) has the power to issue a ‘stop notice’ on building projects if the ‘Gateway’ processes are not successfully concluded, which may result in site commencement being delayed.
In addition – and in order that developers can meet Gateway One requirements and move into the next set of ‘Gateways’ – the local planning authority must consult with the Health and Safety Executive to provide specialist fire safety input before planning permission is granted. It’s therefore imperative that developers consider all fire safety matters, which may well require independent third party consultation.
Preparing for change
Lowe continued: “Any change in regulation requires a full understanding of the changes being implemented and a need to evolve quickly. Gateway One is mandatory now, but Gateways Two and Three will not be far behind. On that basis, we would urge developers to prepare for those changes now or otherwise risk delays to projects further down the line.”
As a business, Bureau Veritas works with developers as an independent third party throughout the building lifecycle to help reduce risk and achieve compliance. This includes support around the ‘golden thread’ approach and, specifically, on meeting all requirements as part of the ‘Gateway’ process through assistance with safety case reviews and improving the safety of buildings through the design and operation stages.
*For more information on the detail of the Building Safety Bill, practising professionals can access Bureau Veritas’ free-to-view webinar on ‘Understanding the Building Safety Bill’**Additional detail concerning Bureau Veritas’ services may be viewed online at www.bureauveritas.co.uk