Building Regulations: Parking

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what provisions he plans to include in multi-storey car park building regulations to deter suicides.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Building Regulations 2010 apply to new-build structures rather than existing structures. Thus the impact on suicide prevention of changes to the Building Regulations requirements to guarding in car parks would be limited.

Following the publication of the government's 2012 suicide prevention strategy, local councils were given the responsibility of developing local suicide action plans through their work with health and wellbeing boards. A deadline of 2017 was set and by the end of 2016, 95 per cent of areas had plans in place or were in the process of drawing them up. Advice on suicide prevention in public spaces is given in Public Health England's 2015 publication Preventing suicides in public places - A practice resource. This guidance provides a targeted approach and proposes a range of measures, of which physical barriers are a part.

Requirement K2 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010 provides requirements for guarding to be provided in new buildings, including car parking buildings. In relation to the design of guarding, statutory guidance in Approved Document K sets a minimum guarding height of 1100mm to changes of level other than at staircases (where the minimum height is 900mm). Changes in level of less than 380mm do not require guarding. These are minimum heights only.

The government is not planning to increase the statutory guidance on minimum heights of barriers in car parking buildings as a suicide prevention measure.

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