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After intervention by fire brigade, Ballymore draws tower-block plans

Developer Ballymore has put plans for a new 51-storey residential block on ice after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) voiced concerns over the building’s single fire staircase. The local London council was poised to give the go-ahead to the Cuba Street scheme after planning officials recommended the tower in Canary Wharf be approved. But the…

Developer Ballymore has put plans for a new 51-storey residential block on ice after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) voiced concerns over the building’s single fire staircase.

The local London council was ready to approve the Cuba Street plan after Canary Wharf planning officials had recommended that the tower be built.

But, the LFB was concerned that the building’s one staircase would not provide “suitable and convenient means to escape and associated evacuation strategy” for all users. Ballymore was criticized last year after a fire at the New Providence Wharf site, Poplar. This led to Ballymore withdrawing its planning application.

The LFB stated that: “In buildings with one escape route, we would expect developers to have their own firemen provide a complete review to demonstrate the resilience in case of a fire. This has not been done .”

Single fire staircases can be used on blocks provided that the’stay put’ guidance is followed.

Jon Pagan, a Chartered Fire Engineer and Expert on Fire Safety Jon Pagan stated Construction News that, although single fire stairs are acceptable in certain circumstances, this could be a case where fire engineers need to get involved.

” This building is extremely tall and cannot be considered a typical building,” said he. “So the developer would need to ensure it has

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