Milton Keynes Council to spend £300K on sprinkler systems

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Three of the city’s ‘high risk’ blocks of flats are to be fitted with £300,000 worth of sprinkler systems to avoid a Grenfell Tower-style tragedy.

Bletchley’s Mellish Court and Serpentine Court, along with The Gables in Wolverton, were all built around 50 years ago without any sprinklers at all.

In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, MK Council is inspecting all buildings in the borough that are more than five storeys tall.

The surveys, carried out by specialist consultants, immediately identified that the three massive council-owned tower blocks could made more safe.

And council bosses have vowed to “retrofit” sprinkler systems in each block at a cost of £100,000 apiece.

Meanwhile the survey, which will take four months to complete, has been widened to include all council sheltered housing schemes, whatever their height.

Councillor Nigel Long said:“ I am pleased at the speed at which the council and fire service have acted to do check.

“I am also pleased that we will widen the fire assessments to look at all sheltered housing schemes as well. We are putting safety of residents first.”

Mr Long added: “I also believe it is important to fund the sprinklers in the three high rise council buildings beginning with the communal areas and then talking with residents about their flats.”

The sprinkler decision coincided with another small fire at the privately-owned Stephenson house block of flats in Bletchley on Saturday. Believed to have started in a tumble drier, it was extinguished before firefighters arrived.

KEY FACTS:

Some 28 buildings in Milton Keynes are five storeys or more high. Three of these are council-owned and the others are privately-owned.

Mellish Court, The Gables and Serpentine Court were all built within seven years of each other in the 1960s. First was The Gables in 1963.

More than 20 firefighters rushed to Stephenson House when a fire was reported on Saturday atfernoon. It was put out before they arrived.