Wigan high-rise flats sprinkler plan consultation

One of Scholes high-rise flats
One of Scholes high-rise flats

Residents living in Wigan’s high-rise flats are being invited to have their say on plans to install sprinkler systems.

As part of a Greater Manchester-wide project, Wigan Council has proposed that all authority-owned high-rise residential blocks in Wigan town centre should be fitted with sprinkler systems next year, following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

And now, residents are being asked for their thoughts by completing a consultation which has been posted through their doors and continues until November 26.

Following engagement with the Hi-Risers tenant group, who represent residents living in the blocks, the local authority has also created a show flat in Boyswell House, which is open for residents to view so they can get an insight into what the systems will look like in their homes.

Coun Terry Halliwell, portfolio holder for housing and welfare, said: “Although we have a good fire safety record in our high rise blocks, the welfare of our residents is our number one priority.

“None of our blocks have the same cladding as the Grenfell tower but we still want to make them as safe as possible so our residents are reassured.

“We have been thorough during the development process by visiting neighbouring areas within Greater Manchester to see how they have approached installing sprinkler systems in order to learn from their experiences and ensure as smooth a process for residents as possible.

“We have engaged with the Hi-Risers group, but we also want to hear the views of all residents living in the block, which is why we have opened a consultation.”

The sprinkler pipework will be hidden and the heads will have white discs covering them, which fall away if activated.

Greater Manchester assistant chief fire officer Tony Hunter said: “We welcome the proposal by Wigan Council to install fire sprinklers into their high-rise residential blocks of flats.

“Fire sprinkler systems are very effective in controlling or extinguishing a fire in 99 per cent of cases where they operate and in residential properties they reduce the damage by 75 per cent but crucially they dramatically improve occupants’ safety.”