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Terror-proof new buildings, mayor's report warns

The government should consider introducing a law to make new buildings more resilient to a major terrorist attack, a mayor-backed report has warned.

It recommended the government introduce a statutory obligation for resilience to be designed into new buildings to prepare London for a potential terrorist incident.

In May, mayor Sadiq Khan asked former chairman of the Metropolitan Police Lord Harris to undertake an independent review of London’s preparedness for an attack. The result was a 62-page report with 127 recommendations to improve London’s resilience.

The report also recommended that a phased programme of assessing the resilience of existing buildings should be considered.

Terrorism and construction: How the risks are changing

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.

2It’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

Lord Harris 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.”

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