Assistant Director, Barbican and Property Services to be heard.
The Assistant Director was heard and advised that the BRC would receive a report at its meeting on 17th June 2022, including an option in respect of retro-fitting of sprinklers in the towers and the cost implications. The Assistant Director stressed that, before any further action was taken, there would be full resident consultation.
Members noted that, whilst the buildings had been fully compliant at the time of construction, some 50 years ago, the Arup Survey had made a number of recommendations to bring them up to a modern standard, noting that some might not be feasible. The Estate Office were looking at possible mitigations; one of them being the retro-fitting of sprinklers, which had been recommended to Members some time ago but had been controversial. Arup had also proposed some interim and immediate solutions; i.e. - identifying vulnerable people in the blocks, along the lines of ‘Personal Evacuation Plans’ and this was being actioned.
The decision not to fit sprinklers had been taken due to the general low fire risk at the Barbican and its compartmentation. However, Arup has raised concerns in that the compartmentation might have been disrupted during residents’ improvement works and officers, therefore, have a duty to bring this to Members’ attention. The Chair of the BRC was in attendance and advised that the recommendations in the report would include a feasibility and design study, to which residents would have input, ahead of a final decision. RCC Members would receive a redacted version of the report as soon as possible and the Town Clerk advised that the Special Meeting requested under item 5 above could include this item, if necessary.