Hackney Council urges government to go further on fire safety measures


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Responding to the government’s consultation on changes to fire safety regulations for residential buildings, the Hackney Council has urged the government to go further than its current proposal for new residential buildings above 30 metres to have at least two staircases, calling for the rule to apply to buildings over 18 metres high that have not yet received planning approval.

Hackney Council said it will go a step further by updating plans for its own new buildings where construction has not begun that will be above 30 metres, even where planning permission has already been secured.

Later this month, the Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the appointment of a contractor to build new homes on the site of the former Britannia Leisure Centre as part of its flagship Britannia development. As part of the agreement, the Council will work with the contractor to make changes to plans in order to incorporate a second staircase in the project’s three out of four buildings that are at or above 30 metres tall.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said that since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the Council has led the way not only in encouraging government to take action on fire safety but in doing the right thing themselves: “Whether by upgrading our own buildings without passing the cost to leaseholders or working with other landlords to ensure they address fire risks. This work has also been undertaken with little government financial support.

“That also means keeping our own building plans up to date with best practice in fire safety. While our Britannia project has already been designed to meet and where possible exceed current building regulations, updating the plans now shows an example to other developers in Hackney and elsewhere and will ensure we build much-needed new Council homes that meet the highest fire safety standards.”

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