Mid and East Antrim Council responds to high-rise flats combustible materials ban consultation

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has responded to a consultation on building regulations which could see a ban on the use of combustible materials on external walls in places like high-rise flats.

The Council has issued a response to a consultation by the Department of Finance over amendments to building regulations.

The Department says: “Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the lessons and findings coming out of the ongoing public inquiry, the consultation proposes setting a minimum performance standard for materials which can be used or attached to the external walls of certain types of buildings.

“The consultation seeks views on a range of issues including the types and heights of buildings to which the new standard should apply.”

A report to the Mid & East Antrim Council’s Borough Growth Committee said: “Since the Grenfell fire, there has been much debate about compliance with building regulations.

“The objective of this policy change is to provide certainty about materials to be used in external wall systems of certain buildings and legislation to introduce a requirement to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of relevant buildings, mainly of a residential type.”

It is proposed that the ban of certain materials to be used in external wall systems that would apply to buildings 18 metres high.

Buildings over this height in Mid and East Antrim include the Latharna House block of flats in Larne.

The council is in favour of supporting the setting of a lower threshold of 11 metres. Reducing the height threshold to such a height would prohibit the use of combustible building materials in flats which are four storeys and higher.

The consultations follow the deaths of seventy-two people as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017.

The consultation will continue until October.

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