Flats, Sheffield (Condition)

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

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Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) if he is aware of the deteriorating condition of flats in the Sheffield area, particularly Martin Street, due tocladesporium labatum;and what advice he is giving to local authorities to deal with such deterioration in new flats;

(2) how many local authorities have given him details of deterioration in modern flats and buildings due to cladesporium labatum, dampness, and other similar causes; what information he has about the causes of this deterioration, construction techniques to prevent this in new buildings, and about techniques to cure buildings already affected; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

My right hon. Friend is aware of the difficulties in the Martin Street flats and elsewhere.

Difficulties of this kind may appear in either old or modern buildings, and five local authorities have brought cases to my right hon. Friend's notice recently. There is a great body of knowledge to enable authorities to avoid these difficulties, or cure them if they arise, and I do not think further general advice would be of assistance, but in complex cases the Building Research Station and the Department will be very glad to help.

Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam

I acknowledge that reply, but does the Minister blame this on the quality of building construction or the lack of care by tenants in looking after the flats and houses they possess? Is he aware that this is a serious problem in many buildings throughout the country?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

I am not putting the blame upon anybody in regard to these flats. I understand that cladesporium labatum is mildew, and that the trouble with these flats is due to the heating, or lack of heating, in some of them. If the hon. Member will refer this matter to the Building Research Station it will be glad to look into it.