Sheffield property developers fined thousands of pounds for flouting fire safety laws at student block

A Sheffield property developer has been fined tens of thousands of pounds for flouting fire safety laws at a student housing block.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 9:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 10:34 pm

Ashgate Property Developments Ltd was fined £36,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £12,719 in relation to fire safety concerns raised at a student accommodation block in Rockingham Lane, Sheffield city centre.

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The firm pleaded guilty to three offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

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Sheffield Central Fire Station

After the hearing, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue's area manager Steve Helps said: “This verdict should serve as a stark warning to property developers and landlords that they have a duty under fire safety laws to ensure people sleeping in premises they’re responsible for are safe from the risk of fire.

“If we find people are ignoring these responsibilities we won’t hesitate to prosecute and the sentence handed down in this case shows that the courts take these matters just as seriously as we do.”

Following fire safety concerns raised by a resident, inspecting officers from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s business fire safety team visited the premises in October 2017.

Officers identified a number of serious fire safety concerns including poor fire separation between flats, dust covers left on smoke detectors and a roller shutter door which could have been used as an escape route was deemed to be inadequate.

Inspectors issued an enforcement notice to ensure the defects were remedied and a prohibition notice preventing the roller shutter door from being closed at night.