Sprinklers Included at Cheshire Junction

Multi-million pound apartment block will include sprinklers – fears raised over ‘Grenfell situation’

PRESS RELEASE 17th May 2018

A MULTI-MILLION pound apartment block will be built in the town centre – and it has been confirmed it will include sprinklers following fears over ‘a Grenfell situation’.

Palmus Developments’ scheme for the construction of 362 apartments, as well as a public nine-storey car park with 796 spaces, on land on Winwick Street and John Street, was passed by the development management committee on Wednesday.

A decision was deferred last month, with members requesting additional information over the viability case.

Part of Wednesday’s meeting was held in private to discuss the site’s viability.

Simon Pemberton, who spoke in favour of Palmus Developments’ project, said he believes it could be the ‘catalyst’ for future development in the area.

But Cllr Les Morgan (LAB – Latchford West) pressed him on a ‘guarantee’ that the cladding to be used is safe, as well as whether the two blocks would contain sprinkler systems.

He raised fears over there being a repeat of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, as well as the Liverpool Echo Arena car park blaze.

Cllr Morgan said: “I would hate to give the nod to a development, but please God this would never happen, and we are left with a Grenfell situation, or a Liverpool situation.

“Are there sprinkler systems?”

Mr Pemberton told him the materials have been selected due to their ‘fire safety credentials’ and confirmed the cladding will be ‘fire safe’.

However, in regards to the car park, he said the ‘final specification’ is yet to be established, but insisted it will meet the ‘standard’ that exists for such sites.

Andy Farrall, the borough’s executive director for economic regeneration, growth and environment, said building regulations would cover the aspect of fire safety.

The High Street Group of Companies is behind the eight-storey, £56 million apartment block.

It is one of the three schemes the group has in progress in the north west.

Chairman Gary Forrest said: “We are delighted to have secured planning consent for Warrington.

“It is a great place to invest and we will be creating high-quality living spaces, future-proofed through the use of the latest smart technologies.

“This style of living is becoming the choice of young professionals and we anticipate increasing our investment levels by around £200 million per year for several years to come.”

It was approved subject to conditions and the signing of a section 106 agreement, which will provide £75,000 towards a site ‘travel plan’.

Demolition and construction work is planned to begin later this year.

The site will not include any affordable housing units.