Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
April 27, 2023


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Council launches £40 million lawsuit against contractors following retirement village fire in Crewe

Cheshire East Borough Council has launched a £40 million lawsuit against several contractors over alleged inadequate fire safety standards following a fire in 2019 at Beechmere Retirement Village in Crewe.

Home to over 150 elderly residents, the fire took place in August 2019, where 16 fire engines were dispatched to tackle the blaze.

Initial investigations into the causes of the fire found that it was started by a contractor carrying out hot works on the roof terrace area of the property. Staff later admitted that it was clear the fire “wasn’t behaving in the way that we would expect”.

A fire safety investigation remains ongoing, but Cheshire East Borough Council, alongside developer Avantage and housing association, Your Housing, has taken legal action against several contractors over an alleged inadequate level of fire safety. The three claimants argue this caused the fire to spread rapidly through the timber-framed complex.

They also believe there were clear “deficiencies in the design and construction of the property”, including a lack of compartmentation and missing cavity barriers and sprinklers.

A planning application has already been approved by the council to rebuild the retirement complex following the devastating effects of the fire. Safety improvements have reportedly been confirmed, including wider corridors and an integrated sprinkler system.

This story was originally reported by the Fire Protection Association (FPA).


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