Skip to main content

Smith Houses

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 5 July 1984, Official Report, column 258, if he will provide an updated list of the constituencies in which Smith houses have been reported to have defects.

My reply of 5 July 1984 to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Sir R. Eyre), column 258, listed those constituencies in which Smith houses were known to be located. The list is not exhaustive and the hon. lady has recently written to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment pointing out that there are Smith houses in the West Bromwich, West constituency.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information is available to his Department on the number of Smith system houses in the United Kingdom and the number of such houses in which defects have been reported.

The information available to the Department shows that some 4,500 Smith houses were built in England and Wales between 1945 and 1955. The Building Research Establishment report on the structural condition of Smith houses found that they are liable to exhibit thermal or moisture movement; but we have no evidence that this has led to any substantial reduction in value. Some Smith houses in Birmingham are defective because of the use of shale fill in their construction but this is not inherent in the Smith system of construction.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will designate Smith houses as a class under section 1 of the Housing Defects Act 1984; and whether he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Lady to the replies which I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Mr. Davis) on 31 July 1984, at column 253, and the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) on 11 March 1985, at column 9, on this subject.