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Building Safety Act Gateways Explained

What are the Building Safety Act Gateways?

The Building Safety Act introduces 'gateways', critical checkpoints for Higher-Risk Buildings (HRBs). The Building Safety Regulator need assurance and evidence that building safety issues have been properly considered at key stages of a project.

Gateway 1: Before planning permission is granted

Gateway 2: Before work can start

Gateway 3: Before the building can be occupied

These gateways, defined by the Act, are strategic decision points in design, construction, and occupation. They must be passed to advance to the next stage, ensuring safety standards and regulatory oversight.

building safety act gateways explained infographic

Building Safety Act Gateway 1

Planning Gateway One, before permission is granted, requires clients and designers to consider the fire safety needs as they relate to the project. This includes submission of a full fire statement.

Client: Submits Fire Statement and planning application

Principal Designer : Prepares safe design

The Health and Safety Executive, who is the statutory consultee for HRB planning applications will review the Fire Statement and provide advice to the Local Authority on fire safety matters. The Local Authority is responsible for granting planning permission,

Hospitals and care homes are excluded from Gateway One requirements.

building safety act gateway 1 - the planning stage

Building Safety Act Gateway 2

Planning Gateway Two, this gateway was introduced in, October 2023 and replaces the current building control ‘deposit of plans’ stage. It provides a ‘stop-go’ decision where construction cannot begin until the Building Safety Regulator is satisfied that the design meets the functional requirements of the building regulations, arrangements are in place for safe construction, and it is suitable for its intended occupation.

building safety act gateway 2 - stop/go decision before construction

At this stage the Client must submit evidence of:

  • Compliance with Building Regulations
  • Provision of full plans
  • Appoint competent people
  • Apply for Building Control Approval

The legislation that implements Gateway Two is The Building (Higher-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023

Any alterations to current plans must be documented in a change control log. Under the Building Safety Act, these modifications are categorised as either:

  • Major changes, which necessitate an application to the Regulator and approval before work can start.
  • Notifiable changes, where work can commence once the Regulator has been informed.

Building Safety Act Gateway 3

Prior to a building being occupied, gateway three serves as a crucial milestone in the building process, serving as the ultimate checkpoint upon completion. At this stage, the client submits an application for a completion certificate, providing evidence that the building has been constructed according to the approved plans.

At this stage the Client must submit evidence to:

  • Demonstrate the building is safe to occupy
  • Apply for the completion certificate

The Principal Contractor must hand over the Golden Thread of building and operational information

Occupancy of the building is only lawful once the completion certificate has been issued. The Building Safety Regulator may take enforcement action if a building is occupation without a completion certificate.

Once the Completion Certificate is issued the Principal Accountable Person (PAP) must register the High-Rise Residential Building with the Regulator.

building safety act gateway 3 - application of completion certificate