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'Save our sprinklers' Wiltshire residents outraged at plans to remove fire safety system

Residents are working out their tactics in this fight against the housing association Photo: ITV West Country

Tenants in housing association homes in Wiltshire say their safety is being put at risk after they were told the sprinklers in their properties will be removed.

The sprinklers were installed twenty years ago as part of a pilot project in Trowbridge.

Now the Association says they are too expensive to maintain and the money would be better off spent building new homes but some tenants disagree.

Twenty years ago - these residents were shown the benefits of sprinklers.

They lived in Studley Green in Trowbridge - which was due to be rebuilt and would soon become the first estate in Europe to have all homes with the fire prohibitors.

But now the housing association says it wants to turn them off. And people like Betty Wragg are angry:

How much do you put on a life? God forbid if something happened when they've gone who's going to be held accountable?

– Kevin Jones, Tenant

It followed a dreadful fire in 1989. Three young sisters died when their house caught alight in Chilmark in South Wiltshire.

Credit: ITV West Country
Credit: ITV West Country

Their inquest heard how their lives could have been saved had sprinklers been installed. People in Studley Green saw this appalling news and wanted the safety measure.

John Alford won £1.4m on the National Lottery four years ago. He bought a new car, bought a holiday - and bought his social housing property in Studley Green.

He is furious the association wants to take out his neighbours sprinklers and says he will definitely be keeping his.

Selwood Housing say: only these homes - around 200 or so - of its entire 6,000 stock have the sprinklers. It was a pilot scheme which was never expanded, they are not required to have them fitted by law, and they are expensive to maintain.

But the former chairman of the housing association is unconvinced of the money argument.