§ Mr. Stanley
My Department has today issued further technical information on structural defects found in Airey houses, and guidance on inspection procedures, on the assessment of the condition and safety of these houses and on possible courses of action.
The advice, which has been prepared by the Building Research Establishment, supplements the guidance which was issued on 14 May last year when the Department advised local authorities to initiate a programme of inspection for their Airey houses.319W
It draws on the results of surveys which local authorities have subsequently made, and on information gained at the technical seminars which the BRE held last November.
While no collapse of an Airey house has been reported, the surveys show that the condition of columns within each house and within an area can vary considerably and that cracking at the base of the columns is the most widespread form of deterioration. Every house therefore should be inspected, starting at the column bases.
Copies of the further guidance are being sent to local authorities in England and other public sector owners with a request that they forward copies to all private owners of Airey houses within their area. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales is taking similar action.
I am also placing a copy in the Library.