New draft London Plan takes on Grenfell lessons
Mayor Sadiq Khan today announced a major boost to fire safety in his new draft London Plan, learning lessons from the Grenfell disaster.
For the first time, developers will have to meet the highest standards of fire safety at the planning stage – ensuring that all users of a building, including disabled people, feel as protected as possible and that there is a robust evacuation plan in place.
Until now, it has been possible for developers to delay addressing fire safety until a much later stage, when amendments can be very challenging to incorporate.
The Mayor’s draft London Plan is a broad plan to shape the way the capital develops over the next 20-25 years.
“The safety of Londoners is my first priority and it is absolutely essential that we learn every lesson we can from the terrible Grenfell tragedy, and do everything within our power to make sure nothing like it can happen again,” Sadiq said.
“My new draft London Plan will, for the first time, require that the 'highest standards' of safety are set out at the planning stages of new developments in the capital, so that they can be incorporated into the design and build, and to give Londoners confidence that they will be as protected as possible should an emergency unfold."
The Mayor also called on the Government to do more to strengthen fire safety across the country, including ensuring the Grenfell public inquiry reports as soon as possible. He has asked the Prime Minister to work with him to ensure social housing residents are given a proper voice in future decisions.
London Fire Brigade Director of Operations Tom George said London had a “once in a generation opportunity to raise fire safety standards to the highest possible level across all future building developments in the capital.”
“Only by making fire safety a priority during every part of a building’s life – from the earliest stages of the planning process, throughout its construction, after its completion and through any maintenance and refurbishment work – will we see a significant improvement to safety standards in the capital’s buildings that will reassure those who live and work in them that they are as safe as possible,” he said.
The final London Plan will also reflect further changes deemed necessary following the Hackitt review - an independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety being led by Dame Judith Hackitt - and the Grenfell public inquiry.