Fringe Box



Letter: The Impact of the Second Staircase Requirement

Published on: 22 May, 2023
Updated on: 22 May, 2023

Model of the North Street development exhibited by the developers and refused by GBC’s Planning Committee

From: Alistair Smith

Chair of the Guildford Society

Providing a second staircase can provide some benefits for very tall residential buildings, such as added resilience for extreme events and reduced conflicts between emergency responders entering a building and those trying to escape, reducing the risk of the smoke ingress into an “escape” stairwell.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUH&C) has proposed introducing a mandate for a second staircase on new blocks above 30 metres (around 10 storeys) in order to make buildings safer (note, the Fire Authorities have argued that the limit should be 18 Meters).

A consultation on this change to Building Regulations closed on March 17. DLUH&C have apparently indicated a very short transition period before implementing the change.

The Greater London Authority has already, under its local powers, introduced this change earlier this year. Some estimates are that nearly 250 development schemes are affected by this change in London.

Previously agreed designs and funding models are having to be reconsidered, partly as non-compliant schemes may be less easy to sell once constructed. It is not solely an issue for plans awaiting permission.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the North Street Scheme.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *