Search

Sprinklers recommended for all 126 of Islington tower blocks – but work would cost tens of millions

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:23 24 January 2018

Braithwaite House off Old Street is one of Islington's 126 tower blocks. Last year, cladding was urgently stripped from the building after it emerged it was similar to that used on Grenfell Tower. Picture: Tom Horton

Braithwaite House off Old Street is one of Islington's 126 tower blocks. Last year, cladding was urgently stripped from the building after it emerged it was similar to that used on Grenfell Tower. Picture: Tom Horton

Archant

Islington Council has been advised to consider sprinkler systems for all 126 of its high-rise housing blocks.

The charred remains of Grenfell Tower in Kensington. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire The charred remains of Grenfell Tower in Kensington. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

A town hall committee has made the recommendation in a draft report about the safety of the council’s housing stock. It comes in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in June last year.

But the report, by Islington’s housing scrutiny committee, said there would also be a familiar hitch: money.

The cost of installing sprinklers could be nearly £100million, the committee said. To put that in context, Islington has been forced to propose £32million of cuts in its planned budget for 2018/19 due to central government funding slashes.

In all, the council’s 126 high-rises – defined as six storeys or over – contain 6,200 flats.

Fire engulfs Grenfell Tower in Kensington in June. Seventy-one people died in the blaze. Picture: Natalie Oxford Fire engulfs Grenfell Tower in Kensington in June. Seventy-one people died in the blaze. Picture: Natalie Oxford

The committee, which is chaired by Finsbury Park Cllr Mick O’Sullivan, said in the report: “The committee would support the installation of sprinklers in all council blocks over six storeys in height, which equates to approximately 18 metres.

“However, the committee also appreciates the significant cost of sprinkler systems, and technical and operational challenges related to asbestos removal, water pressure, providing access, resident acceptance of trunking/boxing, and ongoing maintenance.

“Officers advised that the indicative cost of installing sprinklers in blocks of 10 storeys and above could be anywhere between £43m and £97m, and it is noted that the government has ruled out providing funding for these works.

“It is suggested that the council review the feasibility of installing sprinklers, the anticipated cost of the works, and model the financial impact of the works on other aspects of the housing service.”

Smoke billows from Grenfell Tower in Kensington the day after the fire that killed 71 people. Hackney's police borough commander Simon Laurence will head up the Met's response to an inqury into the blaze. Picture: Rick Findler/PA Archive Smoke billows from Grenfell Tower in Kensington the day after the fire that killed 71 people. Hackney's police borough commander Simon Laurence will head up the Met's response to an inqury into the blaze. Picture: Rick Findler/PA Archive

Several other London councils, such as Croydon, Waltham Forest, Enfield and Wandsworth, have already decided to fit sprinkler systems on high-rise blocks.

Meanwhile, the committee also suggested installing individual sprinklers for the properties of known hoarders.

However, funding for this may be easier to come by. The council could apply to London Fire Brigade’s fire safety investment fund, which provides preventative equipment to vulnerable people.

The report will be discussed at a meeting of the housing scrutiny committee at the town hall on Tuesday next week.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 11:54

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Prime Minister Theresa May and home secretary Amber Rudd for trying to “protect communities on the cheap” – following the spate of violent muggings in Archway.

Yesterday, 09:21

Islington Council will not back away from its quest to build council homes on the Sotheby Mews Day Centre site.

Yesterday, 07:23

Theresa May’s government “hates” Islington, council leader Richard Watts said last night.

Thu, 17:00

The chief executive of a secular pressure group has backed under-fire inner north London senior coroner Mary Hassell, saying “religion shouldn’t be a trump card.”

Thu, 13:43

A masked gang has hit Archway with a series of terrifying muggings.

Thu, 07:00

The mum of Jonathon “JJ” McPhillips is holding a candlelit vigil on Wednesday to mark one year since he was stabbed to death in Upper Street.

Wed, 19:38

Police officers are appealing to trace a missing 74-year-old man from Hackney who suffers from dementia.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now