A Basildon estate with a history of fires will be having sprinklers installed in 268 council homes.

The Felmores estate has been the scene of two terrible fires, both in the Bockingham Green cul-de-sac, in 2009 and 2013.

Basildon Council has now taken action and will be installing sprinklers in all of its council-owned properties on the estate as well as in communal flats to provide protection on all fire escapes.

Councillor Gavin Callaghan, Basildon Council’s chairman of the policy and resources committee, who has campaigned tirelessly for fire safety in the estate, said: “The council understands the concerns that residents living on the Felmores estate have had for a number of years about the fire safety within their properties and within the communal stairwells.

“That is why significant investments were made to the cladding over the last few years.

“Now we are progressing to the next step which is to install sprinklers.”

The contract for the work, which is being performed by Billericay-based company ProLite, was approved during a Basildon Council Housing and Community Contracts sub-committee meeting.

Essex Fire and Rescue service has approved an application from the council for grant funding of £70,000 towards the project.

The decision has been praised by councillors and residents of Felmores.

Councillor Andrew Gordon, Labour vice-chairman of the housing and community committee, said: “This campaign to improve fire safety started before the tragedy of Grenfell Towers.

“This began years ago, since the previous fires on this estate. This has been a long time coming.

“We want to be proactive rather than reactive.

“Fires can have human cost as well as financial costs.”

One Felmores resident, Mary Clifford, 62, said: “I think it’s great news and about time, too.

“We had that horrible fire here a few years back and the residents have felt unsafe ever since.

“I am glad to see that we are being paid attention to in Felmores.”

Not all the properties on the Felmores estate are owned by Basildon Council, with many residents renting from private landlords.

The council will also give private homeowners the option of being included in the project in order to improve fire safety.