asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress made by the Building Research Establishment in its study of the structural adequacy and durability of large panel system properties.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The Building Research Establishment is today publishing an information paper summarising the findings and recommendations of its forthcoming major report on the structural adequacy and durability of large panel system (LPS) dwellings. The report itself will be published early next month. I am arranging for copies of both documents to be placed in the Library.
The BRE has investigated a wide range of large panel systems, and studied reports prepared by local authorities and consultants. They have concluded that the quality and condition of the precast concrete components are comparable with those used in other buildings of that period; no LPS buildings were found to be structually unsafe. However, BRE recommend that all such buildings should be individually appraised by their owners, especially as there have been variations from original designs. The report explains how this might be approached.
I am sure local authorities, other public bodies and indeed private owners of these properties will find the report's guidance helpful, especially in reaching decisions on future repair and maintenance needs. Lending institutions and their surveyors and valuers should likewise find that the material in the report will be useful to them.
Copies of the information paper are being sent to local authorities in England, their associations and to the professional institutions. The report itself will be distributed early next month. My hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are taking similar action in respect of their areas.