HC Deb 28 April 1971 vol 816 cc127-9W
Mr. Michael Cocks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will refuse to sanction approval for any redevelopment of Bristol's existing prefabricated bungalow sites except for the provision of local authority houses for rent;

(2) what is the average rent charged for Bristol's prefabricated bungalows; and what is the average rent charged for comparable accommodation built in 1970;

(3) what estimate his Department has made of the cost of replacing Bristol's 3,000 prefabricated bungalows;

(4) what subsidy Bristol Corporation can expect under existing and contemplated legislation to the replacement of Bristol's 3,000 prefabricated bungalows;

(5) on what evidence a specialist officer of his Department gave advice to the Bristol Housing Committee recommending an inspection of Bristol's 3,000 prefabricated bungalows; when this advice was given; when an officer of his Department visited Bristol; what sample of homes he inspected; and what members of the Bristol City Council accompanied him;

(6) in the advice given by a specialist officer of his Department regarding Bristol's 3,000 prefabricated bungalows, whether the local authority was asked to ensure that no householder would be placed in high flats against his wishes, and that those families having household pets would be allowed to take them to their new accommodation;

(7) how many of Bristol's 3,000 prefabricated bungalows are occupied by people in the categories of retired, disabled, and people who require ground floor accommodation for health reasons, respectively.

Mr. Amery

Temporary bungalows made available under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act, 1949, are deemed to be provided under Part V of the Housing Act, 1957, and are treated as part of the ordinary local authority housing stock. The responsibility for management therefore rests with the local authority and any questions on rents or tenancies should be directed to the council.

Similarly, responsibility for maintenance and repair rests with the local authority, and if they wish to remove temporary bungalows it has been the practice of successive Ministers to give any necessary consent under the Act. The aluminium type of bungalow is liable to corrosion which may not be readily apparent and the Department has been prepared to make specialised technical advice on the condition of the structure available to local authorities.

A technical officer of the Department visited Bristol in October, 1970, at the council's invitation to inspect certain of the council's 148 permanent aluminium bungalows, which suffer from this problem of corrosion. He also inspected at the same time some of the council's temporary aluminium bungalows. He paid two further visits to Bristol in November, 1970, in order to carry out, accompanied by officers of the council's housing department, a fuller survey, covering a significant proportion of the total of over 1,700 temporary aluminium bungalows on more than 20 separate sites.

A copy of his report, which was concerned solely with the general structural state of the bungalows, was sent to the local authority. It is for them to decide what action they wish to take in the light of it. If sites are cleared, their future use and the type, number and cost of any new dwellings are matters for the authority to consider under their planning and housing powers; the question of subsidy cannot be considered hypothetically.

Mr. Michael Cocks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many complaints his department has received from tenants regarding the condition of Bristol's prefabricated bungalows.

Mr. Amery

None, so far as I am aware.

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