A NEW policy aimed at improving fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster has been given the green light by civic chiefs.

Developers and planning bosses will now have to consult Hampshire Fire and Rescue on all new applications for high rise buildings in Southampton.

Plans for new schools, hotels, NHS buildings and student accommodations will also be given the once over by fire chiefs.

It comes following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in June.

Police have so far identified 67 victims, who died after a fire from a fridge on the fourth floor quickly engulfed the building.

The rapid spread of the flames is thought to be as a result of the cladding surrounding the building.

A full enquiry into the disaster is currently underway.

The proposals to involve fire chiefs in the city council’s planning process were unanimously agreed by councillors.

It followed a motion by Labour councillor Sharon Mintoff.

The Swaythling Ward member said that although fire services are entitled to submit their thoughts on proposals, they are not statutory consultees under national planning law.

Cllr Mintoff said that fire services are invited to comment on two elements at the planning stage - access to water and access to fire hydrants.

She said by adding opinions on safety, the fire service would get an equal say to other organisations, such as Hampshire Police.

Cllr Mintoff hoped this would lead to “improved” fire safety and provision.

The proposal was supported by Conservative leader, Cllr Jeremy Moulton, who described it as a “helpful motion”.

The opposition chief also expressed his hope that the motion would lead to better fire safety.

Commenting on the proposal, a Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: “The Grenfell Tower fire was a tragic incident that was unprecedented in its scale and intensity.

“Whilst investigations are ongoing Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken steps to visit all high-rise buildings in Hampshire in conjunction with local authorities, housing providers, and building control bodies.

“Also Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority is now looking to work with local partners and central government in relation to the planning process in order to make life as safe as possible for our residents.”