The government should consider introducing a law to make new buildings more resilient to a major terrorist attack, a mayor-backed report has warned
The document, an independent review of London’s preparedness to respond to a major terrrorist incident, recommends the government introduces a statutory obligation for resilience to be designed into new buildings in the captial.
The 62-page report, which includes 127 recommendations to improve London’s resilience, was drawn up by the former chairman of the Metropolitan Police, Toby Harris who was commissioned by mayor Sadiq Khan in May.
According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, the report also recommends a phased programme of assessing the resilience of existing buildings.
Harris of Haringey wrote: ’However good the intelligence, we should always be prepared for the unexpected. It is often said that generals have a tendency to fight the last war, and most counter-terrorism planning reflects the attacks that have gone before.
’Certainly, with the speed of modern communications, it should be assumed that an attack technique developed several thousand miles away might speedily be used in this country.
‘But because a particular type of attack has not yet happened, that is not a sufficient reason for failing to consider its consequences and how to avert them.’
He added: ’This requires that we all acquire a mindset of community security and resilience, that London becomes a city where security and resilience is designed in and is part of the city’s fabric, and where everyone who lives and works here sees security and resilience as their responsibility just as much as it is for the emergency services and civic authorities.’
Recommendation 122. The Government should consider the case, with police, CPNI and others, for the introduction of a statutory obligation for resilience to be designed into new buildings.
Recommendation 123. A phased programme of assessing the resilience of existing buildings should be considered.
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff head of security consulting Chris Driver-Williams tells CN that an increasing number of large developments need approval from a counter-terrorism security officer before receiving planning consent.
’It’s gone from advice and guidance to actually having input into the decision about whether to give planning consent,’ he said.
Read the full interview here.