Second staircase rule highlights benefits of earlier due diligence

Phil Smith-7640-Aug 19 (002)

Michael’s Gove plan to mandate second staircases in blocks above 18 metres makes necessary a shift in housebuilders’ approach to compliance, argues Phil Smith.

The second staircase requirement for new build residential buildings above 18 metres has pushed developers to make some hard decisions during the transitional period on whether to proceed with original plans or revise designs and go through the subsequent planning and re-procurement process, causing project delays and raising budget concerns.

Many viewed the rule as a major roadblock that can have a knock-on effect on meeting targets to offset the UK’s housing shortage. While it undoubtedly brings new challenges, it also heralds opportunities for transformation.

A mindset change is needed, one that proactively addresses the new requirement and prepares for all eventualities through more in-depth analysis to ensure safe, high-quality buildings.

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