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Fire Escapes, Lift and disabled access

Guest WhAttodo?

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Guest WhAttodo?

Good evening,


i am after some some advice on a topic I’ve been thrown into but am worried about where we stand.


i am openening a restaurant with a capacity of 60: we are lucky enough to have one main entrance and another exit at the back so we have two good fire escapes. This is entirely new n the first floor and due to being a change of use we have to comply as if t was a new build in terms of access. Building control won’t sign us off because we haven’t got access for wheelchair users and our stairs are too small to fit a stairlift. Making stairs wider can’t be done.

one self appointed hero who has come and said that we need to loose our main staircase and have a lift fitted in its place. Obviously that puts us down to one exit whIch is actually a right of way for the building downstairs so we can not guarantee it is clear at all times. I am completely gobsmacked that gaining access is more important than a quick escape for everyone


My questions-

-is losing this staircase actually okay?

-if we do have this access how do we ensure we get wheelchair users out in an event of a fire? Especially if it become know for good access and at times may have up to 6 wheel chair users?

-surley it is ludicrous to lose an exit and put lives at risk, more so than they were before with two exits, for the sake of a lift being installed?

-where do we stand legally in appealing any decisions we feel unsafe?


thank you for your help all

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Is this Local Authority Building Control or an Approved Inspector? A lot of people use private sector AI's as they can be more sympathetic.

If you go down to a single stair it will restrict your occupancy but isn't in itself not allowed.

A shared escape stair is not uncommon, if you have issues with the other party obstructing the stair then you have recourse to the fire service who can carry out appropriate enforcement action.

Regardless of what Building Control sign off if you don't have suitable means of evacuating people you will fall foul of the Fire Safety Order.

Appeals info https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval/appeals-and-determinations

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