Observatory View, Hailsham

metroSTOR locker stores help Wealden District Housing improve fire safety on a low-rise refurbishment scheme

Low to medium rise flats can present a challenging environment for housing providers dealing with fire risk issues related to the safe storage of personal possessions. Low-rise blocks are generally situated in their own grounds, giving scope for garden toys and furniture to be used, but rarely with space available for safe storage of these items. Staired access to upper floors is a further barrier to safe storage.

This shortfall tends to result in hallways, landings and other communal spaces being used as informal storage spaces, which are often designated primary fire escape routes that should not be obstructed at any time. While enforcement action to remove such items can be taken, a preferable solution is to providing each home with secure storage space at ground level. Many sites have room to allow this in external spaces such as gardens and drying areas.

East Sussex-based building maintenance contractors Booker & Best have recently carried out a refurbishment programme on five blocks of flats in Hailsham, East-Sussex on behalf of Wealden District Council. The scope of works included new external storage lockers for residents, as part of the refurbishment of drying areas for each block. Having previously worked with metroSTOR, Wealden District Council specified metroSTOR PTM Outdoor Storage Units to fulfil this requirement.

metroSTOR PTM storage units are well suited to the application, with a 2100mm internal height allowing bulky objects to be stored as well as smaller items such as bikes, toys, and garden furniture. A heavy-duty steel frame with a hot dip galvanised finish withstands long term, daily usage, while metroSTOR ForestPanel tongue and groove cladding matches the surrounding close board fencing. The Observatory View project is specified with an internal fireboard liner, maximising fire protection for nearby dwellings.

Security is provided with the metroSTOR integral slide bolt with hasp and staple specification, allowing residents to use their own padlock, removing the administrative burden of issuing and keeping track of keys for each locker. Adjustable baseplates and ground flashings make installation possible on sites with slight inclines, without incurring expensive groundwork costs.

metroSTOR PTM Outdoor Storage Units are also great for replacement of existing tenant storage buildings that are uneconomical to repair. They can also serve a dual purpose as the designated cycle storage location for sites that are short on external space.