02 Apr Fire planning compliance
Removing complexity to make growth and development happen.
Strategen recently completed the fire planning to support a development application for an existing house to be converted to a holiday home in the City of Busselton, which was subsequently approved.
The City of Busselton’s Holiday Homes Policy requires that such applications are assessed in relation to fire risk. This requires the preparation of a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) and Bushfire Emergency Evacuation Plan (BEEP) (as is a standard requirement for vulnerable land uses in a bushfire prone area under State Planning Policy 3.7). In addition, there is also a requirement for existing buildings to be upgraded to comply with the relevant Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating under AS 3959-2009.
The prospective holiday home was located in a residential area of Busselton, in proximity to a parkland dominated by peppermint tree woodland. The building was located within 100m of this bushfire prone vegetation and Strategen determined that it would be subjected to BAL-12.5 impacts (the lowest BAL rating).
As the original building was constructed prior to bushfire specific construction requirements associated with AS 3959-2009 in the City of Busselton, Strategen conducted a gap analysis to assess the buildings’ current level of construction in comparison to the requirements of BAL-12.5 under the policy. BAL-12.5 construction standards are primarily concerned with protection against ember attack and radiant heat impact.
A full retrospective compliance with AS 3959-2009 can be difficult and costly to achieve. In this case Strategen recommended several cost-effective options which effectively demonstrated to the City that the building’s resilience to ember attack and radiant heat impact would be improved.
This project highlighted that a change of use (in this case a personal home to a holiday home) can trigger a requirement to consider bushfire risk and potentially the upgrade of building construction to withstand the expected bushfire impact.
The development of BMP’s and BEEP’s to accompany development applications continues to be a core service offered by Strategen’s Fire Management Planning team.
The analysis of building construction to meet fire planning requirements for existing buildings, as well as at the detailed design stage of new buildings, is a service our team are also able to provide.
To read more about Strategen’s Fire Management Planning services click here.