HC Deb 14 May 1981 vol 4 c330W
Mr. Mason

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the condition of Airey houses; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stanley

Airey houses were built between 1946 and 1955 as a limited part of the immediate post-war building programme. In December last year my Department became aware that defects which had recently been drawn to its attention might affect Airey houses generally. The Building Research Establishment immediately instituted an investigation of this problem. It has concluded that the design of the reinforced concrete columns in these houses is such that they are liable to corrosion and cracking. The effect of this may be to reduce the life of the structure, and affect its structural integrity with a possible risk to safety in extreme circumstances.

I am today notifying all local authorities of the findings of the Building Research Establishment's investigation and have asked that they notify any owners of Airey houses in their areas. I have advised local authorities to initiate a programme of inspection of their Airey houses and have asked that private owners be advised to do the same. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of Stale for Wales is taking similar action.

A copy of the letter sent to local authorities today and the BRE papers attached have been placed in the Library.

Forward to