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Part B in Wales - sprinklers in new homes

18 November 2015

From 1 January 2016 in Wales, Part B (Fire Safety) - New Building Regulation 37A (1) (c) means that sprinklers will be required to all new houses and flats, including those formed by a material change of use.

Transitional Provisions - Wales

The requirement for sprinklers to houses and flats does not apply to building work which is the subject of an initial notice, amendment notice, building notice or full plans submission which is served before 1January 2016, provided that the work is commenced on site on or before 1 January 2017. (See definition of 'commencement of work' below)

Please note that NHBC offices will close from 24 December 2015 until 4 January 2016. To ensure that your site meets the transitional provisions all paperwork should be submitted to NHBC no later than 18 December 2015.

Commencement of Work - England and Wales

The English and Welsh Government have confirmed that in their opinion commencement of work would usually be marked by work such as;

  • excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings
  • digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations
  • vibroflotation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving
  • drainage work specific to the building(s) concerned.

In their opinion, the following sorts of work would not be likely to constitute the commencement of work;

  • removal of vegetation, top soil or removal/treatment of contaminated soil
  • demolition of any previous buildings on the site
  • excavation of trial holes
  • dynamic compaction
  • general site servicing works (e.g. roadways)

In some cases applications will be in respect of a number of buildings on a site, for example a number of houses. In such cases it is the commencement of work on the first of the buildings within the application which determines whether all the building work can take advantage of the transitional provisions, not each individual building.

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