Newcastle high rise to see sprinklers retrofitted

Newcastle high rise to see sprinklers retrofitted

TOM COLLINS House, part of the Byker Wall, will be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Chronicle Live reported on the decision to retrofit sprinklers at the high rise and the Mount Pleasant sheltered housing unit ‘in a decisive move’ after the Grenfell Tower fire last June. The Byker Community Trust stated that it was carrying out the work to ‘provide the high level of protection’ as part of a £1.65m programme of improvements on both buildings.

The tower’s exterior cladding will also be replaced, though the trust noted it is not the same aluminium composite material (ACM) as was used on Grenfell Tower, and Newcastle City Council gave the ‘go-ahead’ for the work as the building is listed, containing 39 homes. Other work includes external and communal amendments, with the project set to be completed this autumn.

Jill Haley, chief executive of Byker Community Trust, said: ‘Despite the fact that it is not a mandatory requirement of current building regulations, the sprinkler system is being installed as an additional safety measure for our tenants. We believe that the installation of a retrofit sprinkler system to a high-rise building may be the first in the region since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

‘There are other schemes in planning but we are not aware of any where the works have actually started on site.’