Sprinkler installation at Doncaster tower blocks was 'already in the pipeline' but was 'pushed up' after Grenfell tragedy

Silverwood House in Balby and Mick Werritt from St Leger Homes (inset)
Silverwood House in Balby and Mick Werritt from St Leger Homes (inset)

The installation of sprinklers in Doncaster's high rise flats was 'in the pipeline' but was 'pushed up' following the tragic events of Grenfell Tower, a top housing boss has said.

Mick Werritt, director of property services at St Leger Homes said he was 'shocked and horrified' at the events in June last year where 71 people died in the Kensington tower block.

St Leger Homes through contractor Wilmott Dixon has already started work on six tower blocks in Balby and the another three in Intake will be completed by the end of October.

But Mr Werritt said the contractors have not reached around '18 per cent' of the flats they had encountered and is calling on residents to work with them.

"We have no obligation to just force our way in," he said.

"We've had a bit of difficulty with some flats gaining access to install them.

"We might just have missed them because they might be at work, I'm not sure but this is all about making these tower blocks even more safe for the residents who live here. We just asking for them to work with us."

"Some people have had some reservations of how these sprinklers will work. It's not the case to say if there's a fire in one room in one flat, the whole block will be covered in water.

"The sprinklers are in every room of each flat bar the bathroom - they're very discreet and will only go off in that particular room when they need to."

The news comes after Silverwood House in Balby received £209,150 worth of money from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue's reserves - which is 50 per cent towards the total costs with the council funding the rest.

Around £305,000 will be used to install sprinklers in each of the 129 flats while the remaining £111,000 will be used to cover the communal areas, store areas, tank rooms and controls.

Alongside these improvements, the passenger lifts at Silverwood House will also be replaced and the communal areas in that building will be upgraded. Those improvement works should be completed by the end of the year.