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Housing: Construction

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 228675, tabled on 5 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward proposals obliging housing developers as a condition of planning consent to provide defibrillators (a) on site during the construction and (b) for use by residents following the completion of developments.

Answered on

13 March 2019

Planning conditions can enhance the quality and mitigate any adverse effects of a development, but local authorities are required to provide specific justification for every planning condition they impose as part of a planning permission. Conditions must also meet the policy tests for conditions as set in the National Planning Policy Framework. This states that a condition must be necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other aspects. There should not be duplication with other relevant regulatory frameworks which cover the development.

Planning conditions generally do not cover health and safety matters in relation to the construction of the development as these matters are subject to health and safety legislation. Although there is no absolute requirement under health and safety legislation for employers to provide defibrillators in the workplace, including construction sites, employers might identify the need for a defibrillator following the first aid needs assessment they are required to carry out under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. These regulations state that employers must provide the equipment and facilities they need to deliver adequate and appropriate first aid for their employees, if they are injured or become ill at work.

Residential developments are also subject to the building safety regime which prescribes clear safety standards and guidance for the construction and operation of new developments. Whilst Building Regulations are possibly not the most suitable way to ensure well located and safe defibrillators the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) has started to scope a review of Part M guidance. As part of this review work, recommendations on the location for defibrillators may be considered.