Is this the safest residential tower on the Wirral?

For Immediate Release

The refurbishment of the Union Building on the Wirral is now well underway. The 10 storey residential tower in Wallasey, which was formally known as Charter House, will be completed in Autumn of this year.

Purchased from the council by Camco Estates back in March of this year The Union Building is a well proportioned low residential block located in an established residential neighbourhood. A good example of 20th century municipal architecture proposals for the block will be a sensitive refurbishment programme of the 42 two bed apartments, respecting the original design intent, whilst at the same time bringing the building into the 21st century. The external improvements will ensure the building continues to sit well with its domestic neighbours, whilst the internal refurbishment will, in comparison, be much clearer.

Since the terrible fire in Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London in June high rise buildings in the UK have been under huge scrutiny. Regulations in England mean that only buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted. Existing high-rises in England must only have sprinklers fitted if a fundamental change is made to the structure or use of the building. Nowhere in the UK is it a requirement to retroactively fit sprinklers in existing buildings.

Camco Estates have though made a conscious decision at the cost of one million pounds to make every possible fire and safety improvement possible to The Union Building.  A new fire regulations lift with fire escape facility is being fitted. A new fire safety detection system will be installed in each apartment. A new Klaxon alarm to each floor will be installed with two hour fire retardant ceilings. There will be fire doors with closers and smoke alarms to all floors. Lastly the biggest investment will come with the fitting of sprinkler systems to each and every floor.

A meeting took place in early July between Camco Estates and their fire, legal and media representatives and the local resident’s society for the area to address any fire, cladding and safety concerns. Present at that meeting was Cllr Thomas Usher who said “In the wake of Grenfell Tower, providing safe, high quality housing for local people should be a top priority. The new fire safety plans for The Union Building has assured me that this is what will be delivered for our residents.”

A spokesperson for Camco Estates added “We always work towards a high specification and fit out on all our projects. During our initial rip out of The Union Building news broke of the terrible fire in London and we liaised with the local fire department and health and safety experts and came to the decision that we wanted to make this building the safest we possibly could.”

Work started on the site in May of 2017 and should be completed by November of this year. See for more details.




Author: Danielle

Date: 2017/07/29

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