Government plans to require second staircases in blocks above 30m

The 12-week consultation issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) proposes a mandate for a second staircase in new developments of roughly 10 storeys or higher.

The department said the policy was estimated to lead to total costs of £1.6bn to businesses over 10 years, with an annual net direct cost to business of around £181m.

The move marks victory for fire safety campaigners and fire authorities who have been critical of the lack of a requirement for more than one staircase for taller buildings in the UK following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Building safety minister Lee Rowley said: “There are undoubtedly lessons still to be learnt from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the department for housing is committed to working with the sector and residents to explore what more needs to be done to make new homes across the country safe.

“This consultation is the next step in the department’s work to improve building regulations and make sure they are as clear and effective as possible.”

Other proposed changes include requiring sprinklers in all new care homes to improve the safety of residents and aiding firefighter evacuations, as well as changes to how construction product manufacturers are required to test their products.

Source: Property Week