§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has been conducted into the effects of SO2 and NOx emissions on ancient monuments; and for how long the Central Electricity Generating Board has been involved in such research.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The Building Research Establishment and Imperial college, London have been carrying out joint research for several years into the deterioration of the fabric of buildings of notable historic importance, specifically St. Paul's and Wells cathedrals. Damage to stone in regions with higher pollution levels is also being monitored; Bolsover abbey has been selected for this purpose. My Department has recently set up a group of experts to review the impact of acid deposition on building and construction materials, including historic buildings and cultural monuments; the CEGB is represented in this group. I understand that the CEGB and the Cathedrals Advisory Commission recently announced a collaborative investigation into the nature and causes of the corrosion of the stonework of ancient buildings through air pollution.