Planning Gateway Focus: Planning Gateways Two and Three

MHCLG’s Building Safety Bill introduces a stringent regulatory framework for the design and construction of new high-rise residential buildings, care homes, and hospitals that are at least 18m high or at least seven storeys.

The framework introduces the following measures to the industry:

  • Requiring those appointed to work on higher-risk projects to have relevant skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours to undertake the role.
    • Organisations themselves are required to have the right organisational capability to manage the project and workers.
  • Duty holders who are accountable and have statutory responsibilities when buildings are being designed and constructed.
  • Gateways 2 and 3 provide rigorous inspection of building regulation requirements, ensuring that building safety is considered during each stage of the design and construction process.
  • A golden thread of information containing the information of the design and construction of the building that is created, stored and updated throughout the project’s lifecycle.

This article will highlight the developments made in Gateways Two and Three.

For information on Gateway One, review our relevant article here.

Gateway Two

Replacing the building control deposit of plans stage for higher-risk buildings, Gateway Two will be a stop/go point in the construction process before construction starts. Building control approval must be obtained from the BSR (Building Safety Regulator).

Applications for Gateway Two must demonstrate how proposals comply with the functional requirements of the building regulations. A holistic consideration of all building regulations should be undertaken with an outcome documenting the appropriate consideration of building safety.

Those acting in a duty holder position must not consider compliance as a tick-box exercise but take serious consideration of all relevant regulations.

The Gateway requires all plans and documentation to be realistic for the project and not rely on unreasonable assumptions for the occupied building from management to its residents.

When submitting plans, information is required on the duty holder’s competence, the golden thread of information and how mandatory occurrence reporting requirements will be met.

Developers submitting applications at this Gateway must demonstrate they have appropriate strategies to manage the construction phase in achieving regulatory compliance and reducing safety risks.

This must include change and competency management and how compliance will be evidenced in order to boost the development’s accountability for safety.

The Gateway contains a staged plan approach with a series of stop/go points where building control approval is strictly limited to the approved stages of work. Applicants must submit plans and documents for other stages of work, obtaining building control approval to proceed before commencing construction on those stages.

The BSR will be given strong enforcement powers for developments where building work commences without first obtaining building control approval.

Gateway Three

The third, and final Gateway, occurs at the completion and final certification stage when the relevant building work is completed.

Similar to Gateway Two, Gateway Three is a stop/go point approach where building control approval is obtained via the BSR before the registration of the building and occupants begin occupation of a higher-risk building.

Applicants to Gateway Three need to show how the completed work complies with regulations, thus assuring the relevant building is safe for occupation.

An application will be required to include relevant plans and documents reflecting the ‘as-built’ building (forming part of the ‘golden thread’ of information). These documents also need to be provided to the building’s owner to manage the building’s safety risks for when the building is in use.

This ensures the continued providence of accurate, high-quality, and up-to-date information of the newly constructed building, ensuring occupants’ continued safety.

Gateway Three should deliver culture change when building regulatory compliance and building safety are considered throughout the design and construction stages rather than late in the process.

Partial completion of Gateway Three will be possible, and it will need to meet the requirements to assure building safety for occupants before the relevant part of the building comes to be used.

The Three Gateways demonstrate to occupants the thorough consideration taken during the development process with certifications issued if Gateway Three is successfully approved.

Similar to Gateway Two, the BSR will be issued with enforcement powers to deal with breaches of the building regulations should they occur.

Once Gateway Three has been passed, either for partial or full completion, the new building can be registered with the BSR for occupation.

Consequences of ignoring BSR approval

It will be a direct offence to start building work without the BSR’s approval and the regulator will be given enforcement powers for instances where breaches occur.

The BSR will be carrying out inspections during the development process, which could involve site inspections, the evaluation of information and documentation, including the golden thread or other evidence of building regulation compliance.

The BSR will be able to undertake tests and sample building materials through cutting into or laying open building work and will be able to prohibit the covering up of work for a period.

Submit your development plans today to discuss how FDS Consult UK can help your next development achieve a straightforward process through BSR evaluation.


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