Fire group backs Blade sprinkler campaign

The Blade Tower
The Blade Tower

Car flips on A27 eastbound causing tailbacks into Portsmouth

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FIREFIGHTERS in Hampshire have received support in their campaign to have sprinklers installed in the ‘Blade’ building.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, a body made up of councillors from across all the county’s councils, including Portsmouth and Southampton cities, has backed the campaign.

The fire service believes the 330ft building, which is to be constructed at Victoria Park in Portsmouth city centre, will be unsafe without sprinklers.

But the building’s owner Watkin Jones has refused to include them in its designs, saying the £30m building meets safety requirements without them.

And the University of Portsmouth, which will nominate 600 students to live at the building, does not have a say on whether the sprinklers should be installed. It has confirmed it will place students there even if they are not.

The authority’s chairman, Cllr Royston Smith, said: ‘We actively support the provision of sprinklers which save lives, protect property and conserve the environment.’