New buildings: planning, design, construction

Planning applications

HSE is a statutory consultee for planning applications that involve or may involve a relevant building.

As part of your planning application to the local planning authority, you will need to show that you have:

  • considered fire safety needs relevant to land use planning for the proposed building
  • considered these needs at an early stage
  • incorporated your thinking into your planning application

HSE provides local planning authorities with fire safety input on proposals.

Examples of fire safety needs relevant to land use planning include:

  • site layout
  • water supplies for fighting fires
  • access for fire services

Developers can get pre-application advice about fire safety and land use planning.

As part of the building safety reforms, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will be the building control authority for high-rise buildings.

Design and construction

The building safety reforms introduce decision points during the building's design, construction and completion.

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will become the building control authority for high-rise buildings. Applicants will no longer be able to choose their building control body. BSR will assess whether duty holders are considering both:

  • building safety
  • regulatory compliance

BSR will have a range of new enforcement powers throughout the design and construction of a development.


Building safety risks will need to be considered from the initial design phase so that buildings are:

  • safe to use or live in
  • safe to build

Before building work starts

Before starting any building work, applicants will need to submit a design application to BSR. The application will include information that shows how the design will:

  • meet the building regulations
  • manage change control
  • help duty holders meet legal requirements, including on:
    • competence
    • golden thread of information about the building

The application will need to show the assumptions that have been made about the occupied building once built. Any assumptions and proposals must be reasonable and justified.

During construction

Building work must not start until approved by BSR.

There will be ongoing requirements, including:

  • site inspections at key milestones
  • reporting certain occurrences
  • managing change
  • identifying and storing the golden thread of key information about the building

Some changes in design may need further approval from BSR before works can proceed.

When the building is completed

At completion, BSR will:

  • assess the application against the building regulations
  • undertake final inspections of the completed building work
  • assess the documents to be given to the building owner

On approval, BSR will issue a completion certificate.

Before occupation

After a completion certificate is issued, the building will need to be registered. An application to register the building should be made to BSR.

Residential units must not be occupied until the building is registered.

Developments that are built in stages

Any proposals for phased construction or occupation should be agreed at the design stage. Construction work should not start on a phase or stage without approval from BSR.

Related content

Visit GOV.UK for more information about building safety reforms:

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Updated 2023-08-18