UK government mandates second staircases in new residential buildings above 18m

The government has confirmed its intention to mandate second staircases in
new residential buildings above 18m as part of its long-term plan for housing
across England
.

Making the announcement on 24 July, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up,
Housing and Communities Michael Gove, said the government would not be
complacent in its approach to safety, adding that as work progresses to densify
towns and cities, "people must be given impeachable confidence that new
homes are safe and decent to live in".

The minister said that the decision to mandate second staircases follows
confirmation from expert bodies that they support this threshold and provides
the ‘coherence and certainty’ that the sector has been calling for.

"The government is clear that this new regulation cannot jeopardise the supply of homes by disrupting schemes that have been planned for years"

According to the minister, the latest announcement is part of a "considered and
gradual evolution of safety standards", which, when taken with the other fires
safety measures and reforms that the government has introduced will ensure
residents in all tall buildings – both new and existing – are safe.

"The government is clear that this new regulation cannot jeopardise the supply
of homes by disrupting schemes that have been planned for years," the minister
qualified.

"DLUHC will work rapidly with industry and regulators over the summer to
design transitional arrangements with the aim of securing the viability of
projects which are already underway, avoiding delays where there are other
more appropriate mitigations."

In another announcement under the building safety banner, the government says
it is opening the Cladding Safety Scheme to all eligible buildings to ensure that
"no leaseholder will be out of pocket to fix dangerous cladding in medium or
high-rise buildings".

In addition to the government’s commitment to regenerate 20 English towns
and cities, as outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper, this week’s
announcement also includes an extension of this plan to include the
regeneration of three more cities: Cambridge, central London and central Leeds.

The government has also said it will allocate £800m from the £1.5bn
Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land fund to cover the development of 56,000
new homes on brownfield sites.

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