Review will focus on residential buildings after blaze at south London site last month

The London Assembly Planning and Housing Committee is conducting a review of fire safety in timber framed buildings in the wake of the recent blaze which devastated the Greenacre Homes construction site in south London last month.

The committee said it would evaluate building regulations, planning policies, construction codes and other guidance to assess their robustness.

The review will concentrate on residential buildings in London, covering the distinctive fire safety aspects of both tall buildings that are already occupied, and timber-framed buildings, particularly during the construction phase.

Jenny Jones, chair of the planning and housing committee, said: “There are many regulations and policies around fire safety but we need to be sure they are robust and are being translated into measures that cut the risk of a fire and save lives.

“We will see more and more tall and timber-framed buildings in London. It is critical new-builds are fire-safe from the moment construction begins, and that our existing tall buildings meet safety standards."

The terms of reference for the investigation are:

  • To identify existing planning policies and guidance as well as current regulations applicable to tall and timber framed buildings in London, for buildings under construction and subsequent occupation.
  • To determine how effective building and fire safety regulations, together with the London Plan and other guidance, are in reducing the risk of and number of fire incidents in tall and timber framed buildings in London.
  • To establish what the mayor and government can do through the London Plan and other guidance to address the issues and if amendments to current London-wide and national regulations are required.

The review will establish the number of tall and timber-framed buildings in London and look at the forecast for the likely increase in their numbers. A full report of the findings will be published later this year.

On 6 January a blaze broke out on a Greenacre Homes timber frame building site in Camberwell. It followed the fire which ripped through a block of timber frame flats in Peckham on another Greenacre site in November last year.