Anger over parking which could cause problems for fire service getting to high rise blaze

A RESIDENT has claimed parking outside the Sussex Heights tower block could lead to fire engines reaching a blaze at the high rise. A large white lorry was seen in the loading bay outside the Hilton Metropole Hotel garages in St Margaret’s Place, Brighton. Neighbours said the fire at Sussex Heights showed why it was important to keep access to the road clear.

John Clinton, 79, of St Margaret’s Place, said: “I’ve said for years a fire in Sussex Heights would expose the difficulty the fire service would have in getting to a fire. “Grenfell it is not, but it shows how important it is to keep St Margaret’s Place free of vehicles at all times. “Some residents feel unsafe, and resent the attitude of the council and the mayhem of vehicles blocking the street during exhibition times.”

According to Mr Clinton, Brighton and Hove City Council three years ago changed the parking measures in the street to allow vehicles to unload for the Metropole exhibition hall, when previously parking was banned there. The Hilton Brighton Metropole said the lorry did not cause an obstruction. Sascha Koehler, general manager, said: “We can confirm that a vehicle was parked in the loading bay outside Hilton Brighton Metropole whilst loading following an event at the hotel.

“We can also confirm that at the same time there was an incident in an adjacent property which was attended by East Sussex Fire Service. “East Sussex Fire Service has confirmed that there was no issue with access to the scene of the incident and have not reported any objections to the location of the vehicle.” The city council said it would reconsider the loading bay if concern was expressed by emergency services.

A council spokesperson said: “The council carried out a consultation in May and June 2017 to households in St Margaret’s Place and Sussex Heights regarding the loading bay at the rear of Metropole Hotel. “Out of those who responded 51 residents indicated they would like the bay retained, and eight residents indicated they wanted the bay to be removed. “The council takes very seriously public safety and received no objections from emergency services when the bay was originally implemented.

“Following the recent consultation we would reconsider this location based on information and advice from emergency services.”

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service[1] spokeswoman said the lorry on Friday had not prevented access to their vehicles.

References

  1. ^ East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (www.theargus.co.uk)

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