Building Safety: Gateway 2

In May this year, Kate Rushworth blogged about the 3 gateways, which will apply to higher-risk buildings (ie buildings over 18 metres or 7 storeys high with 2 or more residential units).

Gateway One has been in force for some time.

We now have more information (see the Building (Higher-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023) (“the Regulations”) about how Gateways Two and Three, both of which come into force on 1 October 2023, are intended to work.

From 1 October 2023 the Building Safety Regulator will be the building control authority and will also have to give its approval before construction work starts in relation to a higher-risk building. This is a separate obligation to, and additional to, obtaining planning permission. This will apply, among other things, to the construction of a new higher-risk building, conversion of an existing building into a higher risk building, for example the conversion of a 20 metre high office block into flats, and work to an existing higher-risk building, so for example the replacement of defective cladding on a 30 metre high block of flats. 

The application for approval to the Regulator must include, among other things, details of the intended use, the height, the number of storeys and number of flats. It must be accompanied by a plan to a scale of not less than 1:1250 containing certain information as well as such other plans as are necessary.  In many cases the following will also need to be provided: a competence declaration, a construction control plan, a change control plan, a mandatory occurrence reporting plan, a Building Regulations compliance statement, a fire and emergency file, and where it is proposed to occupy part of the build before completion, a partial completion strategy.  Additional requirement apply if the work is to be done in stages. For full details see sections 4 and 12 of the Regulations.

The Regulator has 8 weeks to decide whether to approve the application if it is work to an existing higher risk building. In all other cases the Regulator has 12 weeks to decide.

Once approval is given then a notice of intention to start work, including the date that work is to start, must be given to the Regulator at least 5 working days before the date when work starts.  A second notice must be given to the Regulator not more than 5 working days after the day work commences stating that works have commenced.  These are tight timeframes. Parties will need to be organised to ensure they comply with them.

If the Regulator is not satisfied that work has commenced it must give a rejection notice within 4 weeks of the second notice.

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