TWO tower blocks will have sprinkler systems installed.

St James House and Essex Place in Brighton are among the tallest council blocks in Brighton and Hove, with people living in both blocks having been consulted about the plan to fit the sprinklers.

In St James’ House in High street, Kemp Town, 74 households (61 per cent) responded to a council survey, with half of them supporting the proposal to fit a complete sprinkler system.

At nearby Essex Place, in Montague Street, Kemptown, just 59 residents (46 per cent) responded to a survey, with only 23 of them in favour of a complete system.

Some tenants were worried about leaks so the council and fire service will fit a hybrid system, with full sprinklers in common areas including bin stores and laundry rooms. Tenants will have a choice about sprinklers in their flats.

Anyone who does not want sprinklers in their flat will be asked to accept a single sprinkler head close to their front door.

People living in three other blocks in Brighton – Theobald House, Nettleton Court and Dudeney Lodge – are due to be consulted next as part of a programme of installing sprinklers more widely.

The funding for the first two buildings was agreed by Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

They will pay £125,000 to £150,000 each after councillors approved the spending at a meeting of the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee at Hove Town Hall.

The sprinkler programme is being stepped up after the council reviewed its fire and safety plans after the Grenfell Tower disaster in London last year.

Within two weeks of the tragedy every high rise block in the city had had a safety visit from council officers and the fire service, the committee was told.

No council high rise blocks have aluminium composite material (ACM) panels, as used at Grenfell.

Where cladding is used in private blocks, none of the buildings are higher than 18 metres.

In the future all new council blocks will include sprinkler systems.

This year the council budgets to spend £407,000 on new doors, including fire doors, with £308,000 planned for 2019-20 and £317,000 for 2020-21.

A further £1,972,000 is planned for fire safety this year, including the sprinkler programme.

More than £2 million is budgeted for 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Councillors praised officers for their hard work and the way that they had reassured residents at housing panel meetings.

Labour councillor Tracey Hill said: “Quite a lot of work has gone into the private sector too, as the biggest fire risks are HMOs (houses in multiple occupation).”