TheMitchells

Plot Access for Fire Engine

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You can get a turntable for vehicles but imagine those would cost more than a sprinkler system and there is evidence to suggest that they’re not VAT reclaimable as not ‘ordinarily incorporated into a dwelling’. 

 

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As ever, thanks all for your replies.

 

18 minutes ago, jamiehamy said:

Thinking about it, I'd do that. Just play the game a bit. 

 

I'd already considered that, (and I'd be happy to reverse the fire truck if they were struggling). The problem I see with playing the game is that when I apply for planning permission for the garage that will effectively eat up most of the turning area so I presume I'll end up jumping through all the same hoops again regarding the reversing fire truck?

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Depends if the garage can be built using PD. Then no planning application needed. 

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1 minute ago, newhome said:

a turntable for vehicles

 

 I suspect one that could turn a fire engine around would require a lottery win 🤞

 

I'm not 'in it' so I can't 'win it' 😢

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1 minute ago, newhome said:

Depends if the garage can be built using PD. Then no planning application needed.

 

I don't know the answer to that. There was nothing in my permission that removed PD, but there is a listed building fairly close and I don't know if that changes the rules at all? I'll have to investigate that - it sounds like that may help.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, newhome said:

Depends if the garage can be built using PD. Then no planning application needed. 

I thought about that after posting. Keep quiet to any of the authorities about a garage, make a turning circle your solution and hope bc is happy Def an option anyway! 

Edited by jamiehamy
Changes as I hadn't read part of a post

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27 minutes ago, newhome said:

 

Lol, my thoughts exactly but I thought it might be bad of me to suggest it 😉. Guess it depends if the response is available for public view and whether any neighbour is likely to dob you in. 

What you do after sign off is pretty much your own business. This whole planning/BC malarkey can be interesting. From what I can see! Pp is already granted so this is purely bco related. Keep them happy until Phase 1 is complete then go for Phase 2, hopefully without bco involvement! But absolutely don't mention a possible garage again...for the time being! 

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23 minutes ago, Russdl said:

 

 I suspect one that could turn a fire engine around would require a lottery win 🤞

 

 

You’re probably right.  Probably only a solution for people with absolutely no other option or who don’t need a lottery win 😉

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Put the founds in for the garage but leave it a course lower.  Stone over it to make your turning circle then once the ink is dry on the completion certificate scrape the stone back and finish your garage.  Will also mean all the dirty work is already done. 

Only issue is vat claim back on materials for the garage.  Any where you could store them. 

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I guess it's worth asking the question; what is the likely impact of just refusing to comply with this requirement?  Will building control really refuse to sign off on the build?

 

Personally I have doubts that they would, as we had a couple of issues raised during our build that were a bit like this, and on both occasions we reached a compromise (or in one case just ignored it).  We had the fire officer mandating sprinklers, on the basis that it was a timber frame house built on a polystyrene raft.  That I just ignored, and it was never raised again by anyone.  The second was a conflict between the Environment Agency, who mandated a minimum finished floor level, garage floor level and parking area level, above Ordnance Datum, and a Highways Officer who mandated a maximum gradient for the drive of (I think) 1:15.  I pointed out that we could have one or the other but not both, as there was nowhere near enough room on the site to have a drive that long, in order to get the gradient within the Highway Officers mandated maximum.  I stated that I thought that the EA requirement trumped that of the Highways Officer and stated point blank that the gradient was going to be around 1:6, and if they wanted to kick off about it they were welcome to try.  I heard nothing back from the Highways chap, and presume he just chalked it up as a lost cause.

 

I think sometimes it is really worth pushing back with stuff like this, especially if you can try the approach of getting a fire officer out on site for a look around and chat.  After all, what's the worst they can do, realistically?

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4 hours ago, Declan52 said:

Only issue is vat claim back on materials for the garage.  Any where you could store them. 

 

You can’t claim for a garage if it’s not on the PP anyway, although if you were claiming for stuff bought for the normal build how would they know? You’d have to leave specific garage related bits off I guess. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks again all. It's definitely a truism  that a problem shared is a problem halved. 

 

2 hours ago, jamiehamy said:

don't mention a possible garage again

 

The BCO know nothing of an intended garage, that was left off the planning application on advice from a planning consultant. Actually, why didn't she make mention of this potential fire brigade issue??

 

2 hours ago, JSHarris said:

I think sometimes it is really worth pushing back with stuff like this

 

I do feel like pushing back against this - I've been to the pub you see! Whilst there I bumped into a friend who is also a developer and he said that as this issue wasn't raised at the planning stage then it's too late for them to be demanding a turning circle on the plot now - is he right?

 

2 hours ago, Declan52 said:

Put the founds in for the garage but leave it a course lower.

 

I'd planned to do this in any case to make the future garage build less of a hassle, however there would still be insufficient space for a proper turning circle but the firemen may be able to turn around in it. But will it satisfy the main man? The decision as it stands has been made by a gentleman at 'buildingregs@dwfire'  so I suspect appealing to the local fire chiefs better nature may be a lost cause.

 

2 hours ago, JSHarris said:

I guess it's worth asking the question; what is the likely impact of just refusing to comply with this requirement?

 

I think that's the first question I'll ask coupled with the PP point my pub mate mentioned.

 

 

Edited by Russdl

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1 hour ago, Russdl said:

…he said that as this issue wasn't raised at the planning stage then it's too late for them to be demanding a turning circle on the plot now - is he right?

 

I doubt he's right. It's a building regs matter, totally separate from planning. You could get planning permission for a house which can't be compliant with building regs; that'd be your problem.

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@Ed Davies Thanks for that, I'll endeavour to keep my powder dry in that case.

 

It does seem a bloody nonsense though.

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If PP is already granted they can't now add a condition requiring you to retain the turning circle. So I would offer that and worry about the garage later.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Temp said:

If PP is already granted they can't now add a condition requiring you to retain the turning circle. So I would offer that and worry about the garage later.

 

 

 

So if this requirement is in the building regs (I don’t know that it is but in theory) they can’t enforce it unless the PP notes it? Just trying to understand what must be on the PP vs enforceable because it’s in the building regs alone. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Temp said:

If PP is already granted they can't now add a condition requiring you to retain the turning circle.

 

@Temp How should I go about arguing that point? Is there some document I can refer to? I hope you're right but I suspect you saw @Ed Davies comment earlier in the thread and one of you will definitely be correct:

 

8 hours ago, Ed Davies said:

I doubt he's right. It's a building regs matter, totally separate from planning

 

 

24 minutes ago, newhome said:

So if this requirement is in the building regs (I don’t know that it is but in theory) they can’t enforce it unless the PP notes it?

 

It is in Approved Document B, Section B5. I read it ages ago and if memory serves (which it frequently doesn't) questioned the architect about the issue and was assured it would not be a problem. I clearly should have read it more carefully because there is no way we can fit their required turning circle on the plot.

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485420/BR_PDF_AD_B1_2013.pdf

Screenshot 2019-01-10 at 07.01.09.png

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Worth noting that the Approved Documents are not the Building Regulations, they are just guides that indicate how the Building regulations might be complied with.   The title of the table above gives the game away when it says: "Typical fire and rescue service vehicle access route specification", not "Mandatory fire and rescue service vehicle access route specification".

 

The Building Regulations themselves are the law, not the Approved Documents, although many assume that the compliance methods suggested in the Approved Documents are the only way to comply, this isn't the case and there are other options open if you can negotiate them with BC.  Ultimately it is BC who have to sign off on whether or not in their view you have complied with the intent of the Building Regulations themselves, not the Fire Officer, who is just a consultee, I believe, and has no authority with regard to what may or may not comply with the regulations, at least as far as domestic dwellings are concerned.

 

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I would suggest that "reasonable access" in the case of a private drive really means making sure that it's wide enough for a fire appliance to get close enough to be able to fight the fire.  Clearly they may need to leave quickly if they get another shout, but that shouldn't mean that there is a hard limit on the distance the appliance can reverse, especially if provision can be made to make reversing an appliance out a bit easier. 

 

It seems a bit unreasonable to stipulate that a fire appliance can only reverse a distance of around twice it's length (perhaps less) as there are an awful lot of roads on housing estates where they would have to reverse a lot further than that.  A walk around many of the estates in and around the town will turn up dozens of access roads that have parked cars down the side of cul-de-sacs, often with single lane traffic for a lot more than 60m.

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4 hours ago, Russdl said:

It is in Approved Document B, Section B5. I read it ages ago and if memory serves (which it frequently doesn't) questioned the architect about the issue and was assured it would not be a problem. I clearly should have read it more carefully because there is no way we can fit their required turning circle on the plot.

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485420/BR_PDF_AD_B1_2013.pdf

Screenshot 2019-01-10 at 07.01.09.png

 

Hmmm.

 

It does say "or Hammerhead" in the text.

 

Any use?

 

 

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1 minute ago, Ferdinand said:

It does say "or Hammerhead" in the text

 

Sadly not, we are right at the end of a single track lane that becomes a footpath after our driveway. The nearest thing to a hammerhead would be a neighbours driveway a 36m reverse from our driveway. Actually, thinking about it whilst typing I will make mention of that just in case a neighbours drive is sufficient even though it's 36m away. Thanks 👍

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9 minutes ago, Russdl said:

 

Sadly not, we are right at the end of a single track lane that becomes a footpath after our driveway. The nearest thing to a hammerhead would be a neighbours driveway a 36m reverse from our driveway. Actually, thinking about it whilst typing I will make mention of that just in case a neighbours drive is sufficient even though it's 36m away. Thanks 👍

 

I think you perhaps cannot use other people's land to fulfil your turning requirement anyway.

 

Though I wonder what *he* will do for Fire Engines when he builds his new house?

 

Or can you get an extra bit of land beyond just for the Fire Engine (is it a field?).

 

Suspect this will go back to sprinklers...

Edited by Ferdinand

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Where does the bin lorry go, or is your bin point further up? 

 

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@newhome We have to reverse our wheelie bin 60m down the lane to the road.

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