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Will this get through building regs?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by lancs_lad, 23 Aug 2021.

  1. lancs_lad

    lancs_lad

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    My son currently lives in a 2 bed semi with a large lounge and small kitchen, both served by a narrow hallway which has the stairs. He wants to open up the lounge and kitchen together to make one living space by taking out the stud wall between the hallway, lounge and kitchen. The issue being the stairs would be open into the new living and kitchen area.
    Building regs contact isn't answering so thought someone here may be able to advise as I've read there may be an issue as there would potentially be no escape route from upstairs in the event of a fire downstairs
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Building regulations won't apply
     
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  4. tony1851

    tony1851

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    .......assuming there are already escape windows on the first floor.
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    No, still not controlled works.
     
  6. mikeey84

    mikeey84

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    But does the potential reduction in compliance to fire safety not make it need approval?
     
  7. tony1851

    tony1851

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    If they already have escape windows on the first floor, then the ground floor can still be made open-plan.
    But they will be making the fire-safety situation worse if there are no escape windows on the 1st floor, hence the need for a B/R application.
     
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    There is no re requirement for a hallway, or protected escape route in a two storey house.
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    There is no reduction in compliance, as there was no requirement for a hallway or that wall to separate the stairs from the lounge in the first place - unless maybe if the house is more than two storey.
     
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  11. tony1851

    tony1851

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    The diagram in L1b clearly states that for a two-storey dwelling, escape from the first floor is either by stair and egress windows, or by a protected staircase.
    In other words, if you don't have egress windows on the first floor, you must have a protected staircase.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2021
  12. Bouy

    Bouy

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    Diagram 2.1b in Approved Doc B
     
  13. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Thanks, I knew there was a 'B' in it....!
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    That's new build now. Not alterations to something already built.

    But if there were escape windows and they have been removed, then that would be the contravention not the removal of the stair wall.

    Presumably there is no protected staircase in the OP property as there are no fire doors.
     
  15. tony1851

    tony1851

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    OK; the stairs in my 1920s house are 42 degrees pitch. If I alter them to 50 degree pitch to gain extra space in a bedroom, are you saying I can do that regardless because the house is 'already built'?

    The general rule is that if you undertake an alteration which makes something less compliant, then it is a "material alteration" which requires an application.

    If the OP has a first floor with egress windows in the bedrooms, then he can make the ground floor open-plan because that would comply with the current requirements - no application needed so far as Part B is required (though eg structural matters might apply).

    If there are no egress windows upstairs, making the ground floor open-plan would make the escape arrangements worse than they are at present, therefore an application would be required (which would either be refused, or subject to conditions such as extra interlinked alarms, or even sprinklers).
     
  16. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Knock knock. Am I getting through? o_O

    Removing a wall around the stairs is not making MOE any worse. The stairs are still there! The final exit door is still there!
     
  17. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Put the shovel down :)
     
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