Blog

In response to Jersey Action Group’s repeated scaremongering regarding the company’s new development - Horizon at the Waterfront.

The Jersey Action Group (JAG) continues to state there is a flaw in the fire strategy on the Horizon development by comparing it with the disaster at Grenfell Tower.  JAG has recently highlighted an article in the London Times about the 67-storey Spire Tower which will become the UK’s tallest apartment block building and has been designed with one fire escape.

Planning, building and fire regulations have improved immensely since Grenfell Tower was built in the mid-seventies. The Horizon development has been designed using the latest fire safety requirements and will be more up-to-date than any other apartment block in Jersey.

The Horizon development will be seven, eight and nine storeys high, containing a total of 280 apartments split across 3 separate buildings. Spire Tower in London will be a 67 – storey block containing 861 apartments.

The seven, eight and nine storey blocks at Horizon are not considered high-rise, however are designed with the same fire safety requirements to ensure the highest standards are met. The main staircase is situated in the core of the building to ensure travel distance from all apartments is within fire safety regulations. Apartments will be fitted with sprinklers in all living areas as will all communal areas. In addition, fitted mechanical ventilation systems will be fitted to each block to remove smoke when detected. The powered fans are connected to fire dampers and rapidly remove smoke in the event of a fire.

Residential sprinkler systems are designed specifically to stop the spread of fire within individual apartments as well as spreading to other apartments.

An example of current fire-resistant technology similar to Horizon was seen when the 79-storey Marina Torch Tower in Dubai caught fire in 2015 and 2017. The building was engulfed by huge fires on the external cladding. There were no casualties in the blaze; every occupant of the 79-storey building easily escaped via the stairwell.  This was solely due to all apartments and common areas having sprinklers and a smoke extract system similar to the proposed Spire Tower and Horizon developments. (In comparison, max height in Horizon is nine stories with fire retardant external walls/cladding.)

As quoted by a Fire Fighter interviewed with Gulf news: http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/emergencies/dubai-tower-fire-heroic-firefighters-recount-battling-torch-fire-1.1461450

 The Fire Fighter said: “The fire was in the balconies and was moving into the apartments, but thanks to the building’s efficient fire system – which was working at a 100 per cent — the fire did not spread into the apartments, as once it did, the sprinklers would put it out.”

The system, he said, helped cut down the efforts needed to put out the fire “by around 70 per cent”. If it weren’t for the system, this fire would have been a disaster”

It is of course disappointing that the Jersey Action Group choose to publish scaremongering, misinformation about this latest development. The Jersey Development Company (JDC) will never compromise on meeting the highest standards on any of its developments carried out on behalf of the States and people of Jersey. JDC was set up by the States Assembly to act as a delivery organisation to maximise the value of States owned property assets.