Following Dame Judith Hackitt's review into the Grenfell Tower disaster, the so called "Planning Gateway One" is now in force. This is one of three gateways, or checks and balances, to regulate the life of a higher risk building.

The new planning obligations apply in relation to higher-risk buildings (being those which are 18 metres or more high, or over seven storeys) have been brought into force pursuant to the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure and Section 62A Applications) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 (”the 2021 Order”).

Gateway One has two components:

1. a requirement to submit a Fire Statement with a planning application for relevant developments; and

2. to establish the Health and Safety Executive as a statutory consultee for relevant planning applications.

If you are applying for planning permission after 1 August 2021 for a building above 18m or seven storeys high, for residential buildings or residential accommodation for the use of students boarding at a boarding school or in later stages of education, then you need to be aware of the new fire safety form requirements.

This change in law will affect many living sector clients (although not care homes and hotels currently) and so we advise early discussion with your fire engineers and planning consultants to ensure compliance.