Extra staircase added to 51-storey tower plans after fire brigade concerns

File photo dated 14/2/2021 of the skyline of Canary Wharf in London. Issue date: Wednesday October 2

Ballymore has submitted plans for another tower block to add to Canary Wharf's skyline - Credit: PA

A developer has added an extra staircase to its proposals for a Canary Wharf skyscraper after concerns were raised by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) about its original plans.

Ballymore's planning application for a 51-storey tower in Cuba Street, at the junction of Manilla Street and Tobago Street, is back with Tower Hamlets Council.

It had been due to be debated by the council's strategic development committee in January but a decision was delayed after the fire brigade's intervention.

The LFB hit out at the original proposal, which only had one set of steps going down.

A spokesperson said in January that it had concerns with the design relating to escape and the evacuation strategy.

Ballymore and architects Morris+Company have now updated the plans, sent to Tower Hamlets Council with an extra staircase added.

If approved, the building will be one of the tallest residential towers in London and will contain 428 homes.

The new stairway will not change the size of the building, but one of the lifts will have to be removed to make space for it.

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The developers said other lifts would be made larger to make sure there was enough space for all residents.

They added the plan in the event of a fire would be a ‘stay put’ policy for residents to remain in their flats.

The developers also said the building would be made of non-combustible concrete to stop a fire from spreading.

A spokesperson for Ballymore told The Local Democracy Reporting Service they were working with all parties involved to make sure the building was at the best standard.

They said: “We’ve revised the design of our Cuba Street development, following comments from the London Fire Brigade during the planning consultation process. These plans have now been submitted to planning committee.

“Every Ballymore development is built in full accordance with all current guidance, advice from independent fire safety experts and industry best practice.

"No development moves forward without full consultation with the London Fire Brigade and the support of building control, with whom we continue to work closely across our development portfolio.”

A spokesperson for the LFB said:  “While we are not a statutory consultee on such planning applications, we are currently in discussions with the design team for this development and will be providing comment to the local authority in due course.”