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Second Stair Provision for Tall Residential Buildings in London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan - All planning applications for residential buildings in London above 30 metres must now include a second staircase - "with immediate effect".

Under new proposals at application stage, all tall residential buildings above 30 metres will need to be designed with two staircases before they can be referred to the Greater London Authority for approval.

This follows the publication in Dec 2022 of the latest Approved Document B consultation from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) which proposes that new residential buildings of more than 30 metres height feature a second staircase.

DLUHC stated that it was proposing “a very short transition period” before implementing this change, with all developments encouraged “to prepare for this change now”.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) stated that given DLUHC’s wish to swiftly implement the second staircase measure – and “the requirements of London Plan policy D12 that all developments should achieve the highest standards of fire safety” - the mayor of London was immediately applying his change to relevant planning applications.

The DLUHC consultation runs until March 17 and includes other proposals, including removing references to national classifications (BS 476) from Approved Document B. Responses can be made here on the UK government website.

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