Redrow warns over Welsh sprinkler costs

Published:  04 August, 2011

CARDIFF: Steve Morgan chief executive of Redrow has warned that a planned law making sprinklers compulsory in new Welsh homes could kill off housebuilding across the country.

Mr Morgan fears the extra cost of sprinklers will make new developments uneconomic in poorer parts of Wales after estimating the cost of installing sprinklers in a three bed home at £3500.

He told BBC Wales: "In areas where house prices are not that high, and I'm talking about areas where we build now, such as in the south Wales valleys, we can't even look at the valleys any more.

"What will happen is that the poorer areas of Wales will see no new development, the very places that need it the most will see no new development."

The Welsh Government is consulting on the plans. Ann Jones, AM for the Vale of Clwyd, has spent four years working to get the power to legislate on this devolved.

She said the cost is more likely to be between £1000 and £3000, and that builders will be able to absorb costs and make other adjustments to offset the sprinkler installation costs.

Mr Morgan warned the sprinklers combined with any carbon reduction targets could push Wales into a housing "crisis". He said the only areas that will be able to afford "this extra burden" will be the more expensive areas like the M4 corridor. "My message to the Welsh government is simple, do not put Wales at a total disadvantage to England," he said.

The Welsh Government said it is waiting for a cost benefit report by the Building Research Establishment to be published.

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight


Builders Merchants Vacancies – UK Wide

At Arco, we are an industry specific recruitment consultancy, providing sales and managerial staff Nationwide to Merchants, Distributors and Manufacturers of Building Materials within the Construction Sales Sector. Priding ourselves on our unparalleled customer service and hard work, we offer a fresh, innovative and personal approach to recruitment specifically designed to meet our clients’ needs and candidates’ skills.

Guest Blog by Simon Damp

Is DIY a lost art?

As time goes by, the art of do-it-yourself when it comes to activities around the home and garden is fast becoming more and more of a lost art.