MAXFIELD HOUSE in the city will see sprinkler retrofitting begin next month, as part of a wider refurbishment of the tower.
Leicester Mercury reported on the announcement of work at the 18 storey tower owned by Leicester City Council, with a £450,000 fire safety system to be fitted while the 1970s building – currently empty – is also refurbished for £2m. The sprinklers will be fitted as part of the work, and are ‘expected to be up and running within five months of work starting’ in November. Five individual units will be installed in each of the 85 flats in the building as part of the work.
The wider refurbishment of the building will see all flats redecorated and refitted with new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as flooring, while communal areas will also be refurbished. The entire block is also being rewired with ‘new, more efficient’ heating and ventilation systems. Four other residential blocks – Gordon House, Clipstone House, Framland House and St Leonard’s Court – are also council owned, and are ‘also to get sprinkler systems’ from next summer.
However, at this point the city council said it has ‘yet to establish’ how much this will cost, but the system will be able to be installed ‘without the need to move tenants out of their flats’. Leicester’s tallest block – the 23 storey Goscote House – will be decommissioned and demolished after structural reports ‘called into doubt its long term viability’, with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service discussing with the council whether it might be able to use the block for training.
Andy Connelly, deputy city mayor for housing, commented: ‘The work at Maxfield House is the latest phase of our ambitious tower block refurbishment programme. It also marks the start of our commitment to retrofit sprinkler systems to all of our residential tower blocks. It’s not an easy or cheap thing to do, but the priority here is the safety of our tenants.’