Cornwall Councillors have signalled their desire to lead by example in keeping residents safe from house fires by agreeing to install sprinklers in all homes the Council builds and commissions in the future. At the full Council meeting, Councillors voted to approve a motion brought by Councillor Neil Burden, Cornwall Councillor for Stokeclimsland. As a result sprinklers will be installed across all future Housing Development Programme (HDP) schemes at a cost of around £1.8million.
As announced last month, the HDP will see the Council invest up to £170 million in directly building 1,000 new homes on sites across Cornwall. The developments will be a mix of homes for private market rental with 35% for affordable rent or shared ownership, 15% sold on the private market and 50% available for private market rental. Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes Andrew Mitchell welcomed the move.
"Sprinklers save lives. Our fire service has long advocated for the use of sprinklers as the evidence shows that they can prevent fire from spreading - not only making sure routes are clear for occupants to escape to safety, but also limiting property damage.
"While it is not mandatory to install sprinklers in new homes, this is our opportunity to lead by example. We are investing in building good quality homes for our residents and it is only right that we do all we can to ensure our future housing schemes exceed safety standards.
"While the Council only provides a minority of all the new homes built in Cornwall, I hope that through our example we can promote wider adoption of this approach both by Registered Provider partners and by developers more generally."
Cornwall Council member for Stokeclimsland Neil Burden who first proposed the motion said: "This is but a small investment that will promote best practice and will make a difference for years to come and maybe when a family's home and belongings have been saved when the sprinklers are triggered, some reflection on the positive action of this Council will be remembered."