Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan opens consultation on new fire safety development guidance

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a full public consultation on new draft guidance created to ensure fire safety is embedded in the early stages of all planning processes for new developments.

The Fire Safety London Plan guidance sets out how developers should demonstrate compliance with the Mayor’s policies to achieve the highest standards in fire safety and safe and dignified evacuations, in addition to the government’s fire safety considerations.

It also highlights the developers’ responsibility to demonstrate that their schemes can be constructed and occupied safely with regards to fire safety in a way that won’t impact neighbouring buildings. 

The guidance stipulates that the design of the development needs to consider fire safety and the safe and dignified evacuation for all from the outset, taking into account all factors, such as where a fire engine will park in the event of fire, whether there is a safe and accessible evacuation route for occupants, whether the external walls are made of non-combustible materials and what fire safety measures will be incorporated into the buildings.

The guidance seeks to:

  • make sure that competent fire safety experts are involved at the earliest stage of the design process
  • guarantee that evacuation lifts and the space and measures required for them to operate as such are included in developments
  • ensure that fire safety and evacuation measures are identified at the planning application stage and can be referred to in each subsequent stage of the development process

The draft Fire Safety London Plan guidance will be up for consultation from 11th February 2022 until 20th June 2022.

“The current building safety situation is a scandal and I am concerned that, almost five years after the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, the government is still not willing to properly address it,” said Khan.

“That’s why I’ve been using all the tools at my disposal to raise the standard of fire safety measures in London, through requirements for developers in my London Plan and lobbying developers and building owners to share vital fire safety information with residents. 

“This draft guidance goes even further and will ensure fire safety is embedded in the earliest stage of the design process. 

“Ministers must do their part and urgently review and improve building regulations, including those relating to single escape staircases in very tall buildings.

“I am committed to ensuring all Londoners feel safe in their homes, and that in the event of an emergency, they can evacuate safely and with dignity.”

Greg Ashman, deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety at London Fire Brigade, added: “We support the Mayor’s fire safety guidance within the London Plan.

“It is imperative developers are considering fire safety at the earliest stage of the building design process and we agree that the safety of all members of the public, as well as our firefighters, should be considered at this stage.

“We still need to see a culture change when it comes to fire safety in all buildings and we believe this guidance will influence the overall safety of London’s buildings in the future.

“We will be looking through this guidance in detail and responding to the public consultation in full.”

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