APPEAL REF: APP/N4720/W/20/3250249‌

The Planning Inspector has confirmed at the preliminary part of Day 1 of this appeal inquiry that no objections have been raised with regards to us ("Judicial Domicide") live tweeting the Planning Inspectorate Appeal Inquiry. We, ("Judicial Domicide") must state that this is not intended to be an official, accurate, nor verbatim transcript, but it is recorded here by us to serve the purpose as a true record of the inquiry hearing(s) as we observed and recorded. We have compiled the below from live tweets and our fast notes taken during the observation of the hearing. There are also areas where we did not observe and/or we had connection issues which resulted in the loss of being able to observe.  
‌This is Day 2 of the Appeal inquiry of Pemberstone v. @SaveOurHomeLS26.
Mr White: Point to make re implications of repair for occupancy and feasibility of repair options do touch on this afternoon.

Examples at Appendix 1 :Structherm

Mr Lawton gives a rough cost. I’ve asked Mr Wells to be here this morning as it affects his evidence.

Mr White: I ask Ms Wigley to consider this. Feasibilty of repair options. serious point about the SaveOurHomes Case. With Leeds we have reasonable position in that we have a ackowldement and acceptance of Dyson Report.

The Rule 6 party however resisted in the Statement of Common Ground say that the condition of the homes is not agreed. It’s not expanded on.

Mr White: I do think on the evidence, I will press the inquiry, for SaveOurHomes to tell the inquiry of what they say is necessary in order for continued occupation of the houses. If implication at very least Structherm is necessary that may save time.

Ms Wigley: On the 3 points: 1. Mr White gave me notice helpfully about costings last night. I did pass that through to Mr Lawton and Mr Rogers and they have been doing their best to get the information together. I know they won’t have all the information today but they will do their best and can provide it later in the inquiry or tomorrow. They obviously don’t have all the information regarding all the case studies at their fingertips but I can assure you they will do their best.

Ms Wigley As to existing condition and Dyson report. It is correct that we don’t accept it. I will be asking questions through you Sir about it and how its presented.

Ms Wigley: Very fair question about what is necessary for continuing occupation. I would like to seek instruction in regards to that question.

Mr White: Can they take instruction on what SaveOurHomes say if they don’t accept the Dyson report what their formal position is on existing condition if they don’t accept it.

Ms Wigley: If I can just respond to that. We are a rule 6 party and we do not have the benefit of expert consultants, so we haven’t been able to undertake a formal structural survey and provide detailed evidence of the existing condition. I will take instruction but we will not be able to put forward positive evidence as to the structural condition but I don’t think that should disqualify us and me from probing some of the assumptions and the results from the surveys. I don’t know what the answer would be as I haven’t asked the questions yet but I would like to ask Mr Askew how that report was put together and what its implications are in his expert view and I believe we are entitled to do that even if we don’t have our own expert.

Mr White: Its completely fair that Dyson Report is investigated but I have a problem with what Save Our Homes say is necessary which is consequential on the condition. We will be saying the Structherm system does not work when you have the level of issues that Dyson have identified. Whether you accept that or not we will investigate.

Ms Wigley: I haven’t taken instructions yet but I suspect the position is that Structherm will be needed, not necessarily immediately but would be needed in the short to medium term. But please don’t hold me to that as I must seek instruction.

As to existing condition we made clear there is a limitation to our evidence because of the lack of expert but what we do have is compelling evidence from Mr Lawton supported by Mr Rogers that the structural defects identified are not a surprise and are not significantly different from what they encounter day after day when repairing these homes. Its on that basis that they consider these homes can be sustainably and viably repaired. Thats our position.

Mr White: I’m an optimist, I would like if Ms Wigley can take instruction.

Inspector: I think we will take 15 minutes for that but I have a question for Mr White: What is the status of the NDA documentation is. We have a 2020 report which is detailed report that looks at every property. Summary report by NDA is summary as I read it in 2018. Is the 2020 superseding the 2018 summary.

Mr Sheppard: Might be error on my part. I think the 2020 report is the full report. The 2018 is superseded.

Inspector: Point of reference for Dyson is the 2020 report and the 2018 summary is earlier document that is superseded?

Mr Sheppard: Thats correct.

Adjourned until 10:05am

Ms Wigley: They were designated defective in 1985 and they have continued for many years without any intervention. The Structherm system can dramatically extend the life of the properties and enable them to be sustainably repaired going forwards not with standing the defects identified.

They cannot say when this intervention would be needed as they do not have the sufficient expertise to say whether intervention is needed within 6 months, within 2 years within 5 years within 10 years.

Mr White: Ms Wigley has told us frankly what we already know. I don’t think it is unreasonable to know what her instructions are about the existing condition. What is the starting point of the debate. Is it existing condition can carry on for a significant period with Structherm as an option at a later date. Is the view that Dyson are overeating the pudding and the defects

Our position is absolutely clear. That the Structherm and also the do nothing approach is simply not good enough, and its not acceptable in light of the Dyson report. Mr Askew will speak to that effect. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Ms Wigley to tell us the collective point of Save Our Homes at this point, Any intervention, some intervention?

Ms Wigley: Obviously we have expert evidence, well , expert report without the witness who did the report but we have a report from a structural engineer that says there needs to be intervention. We don’t have expert evidence to counter that. What I do have is questions and queries about what that report is telling us and that is why I want to reserve my position for all at SaveOurHomes because at the moment I am not convinced the credibility, sorry not the credibility I’m not going to attack that, but I don’t think it all stacks up, and says what it purports to say. If I put it this way I think following this session I would be able to take instruction as to what our clients position is, but in advance of that we have queries on the Dyson report and Id like to know the answers to those queries before we accept it in terms of its conclusion that some intervention is needed in the short term.

Inspector: But Ms Wigley your witnesses have seen the Dyson report. Mr Lawton has been to the site and looked at most of the houses externally. Presumably there is an initial position that has been taken? What is the starting point?

Ms Wigley: The starting point sir is that if Dyson report is accurate, if the implication is as it purports to be then SaveOurHomes position is the Structherm system is a suitable and sustainable solution which can be implemented imminently and can enable a sustainable future for these houses. Mr Lawton and Mr Rogers have been to the site and have taken that opportunity but the implications of the Dyson report and the exact nature of its terms haven’t been able to interrogate that and that is part of the purpose of this inquiry. I have made absolutely clear I don’t have expert structural evidence but that doesn’t mean we are unable to question and to enable the whole inquiry from understanding what the Dyson report is saying.

Inspector: Ok Ms Wigley, there’s a qualified response, Mr White.

Mr White: We are not going to take this any further but I’m going to put it on the table that it is deeply unsatisfactory that we are told that she seeks to criticise but not seek to tell you what basis that criticism is made. Of course we are professionals and professionally able to interrogate any report but we normally do it on the basis of expert evidence which seeks to say this is wrong as we will do tomorrow. Here Ms Wigley wants free reign to go after Dyson which she admits she’s got no structural engineer to tell her what’s wrong with the Dyson report. Its what we call in the trade a complete fishing exercise and its also unsatisfactory  that this afternoon that we may hear two hours hearing from Structherm but that it may be Ms Wigleys position that actually Structherm isn’t even necessary. I don’t think its unreasonable that Ms Wigley gets instruction as to their position so we can all save time.

Ms Wigley: To short cut matters I can say that, that we accept the likelihood that the Structherm system is needed in the short to medium term. We accept that likelyhood but I cannot go further than as we don’t have the informed view of my clients witnesses and I would like opportunity to understand the Dyson report more before concluding on it.

Inspector: I think to make progress we should proceed to roundtable now on this matter.

Intended Participants: Mr Askew for the Appellant

Mr Rogers and Mr Lawton for SaveOurHomes

Mr Tinsdale.

Ms Bell: Thats right because we accept the Dyson report we don’t envisage having much to say but want someone there in case we can assist.

Mr White : I would like to reserve Mr Wells regarding the costings.

Inspector: Overview of Airey design and designation of these types of properties as defective probably useful to start with Mr Askew first I think.

Mr Askew: Design for Airey houses was all manufactured offsite and post world war two it was a system that could be erected on site by relatively low skilled workers. Key components of the system they are effectively concrete posts which have a steel tube encased within them combined with Shiplap panels. Once delivered posts put in place secured with temporary props whilst rest of work proceeded. The shiplap panels were attached to the posts with copper wire which would hold them in place. There is very little there in terms of structural support.

Mr Askew: That forms basis of perimeter of the structure. Once completed the floor structure needed to be put in place. These are generally joists or they could be timber joists with metal lattice structure. Each individual floor joist is bolted to one individual post at each end. Posts come preformed with holes at the top that accept bolted connection to the joist.

Inspector : Is that where the reference to Goalpost comes from?

Mr Askew:  It forms a goal post between the outer and inner wall and the outer wall at the opposite side. Two bolt connection. Shiplap panels then installed to that level. Concrete column would protrude above and then upper levels are slotted over the top. There Is no physical connection other than the socket. Shiplap panels are then affixed by wire as the same manner to the upper columns.

Roof construction is constructed as a standard roof construction with timber purlins and timber joists.

Inspector: What do the initial concrete posts at ground level stand on?

Mr Askew: They bear on top of the concrete foundation they lay a DPC and those posts are sat on the DPC and there is a jig in place to position during construction.

Inspector: They don’t penetrate the foundation?

Mr Askew: They sit directly on the concrete board the DPC goes down and the posts are placed on top. They will build a small plinth around the concrete to make up difference between ground level and the other side of shiplap panel.

Inspector: They sit within that plinth?

Mr Askew: They sit behind the plinth. The plinth is in front of the posts.

Inspector: Reason for being designated defective. From what Ive read it primarily relates to the columns.

Mr Askew: Its part of the issue, they were designed to be built by low skilled workers and inevitably it has to be a simple form of construction and critical details were overlooked. There is tendency for water Ingress through the shiplap panels and as post is exposed at base its exposed to water during its life and its exposed to water across its life the posts within the concrete corrode and expand. Results in cracking in base of columns. In addition it can be due to humid environment, bathrooms kitchens that kind of environment can result in corrosion to internal columns. The defective designation does not mean that a defect is there it relates to possibility that there is a flaw in the design that can lead to a defect. These are the defects we see in the Dyson report.

Inspector: Flaw in the design leads to defects. Is that arrangement of the panels.

Mr Askew: Primary is due to water ingress. There is no seal between the panels. Water inevitably seeps through the gaps and drains in the bottom. Posts are sat in the water for prolonged periods which causes corrosion to post.

By virtue of the need for it to be a simple design that could be erected by low skilled workers there was no protection for water ingress. The system itself is flawed regardless who installed it.

Inspector: Because it doesn’t protect against water ingress?

Mr Askew: Effectively yes. Also issues with humidity internally.

Inspector : I thought there was a reference in Dyson about quality of columns?

Mr Askew: Very little concrete cover to as soon as slightest bit of corrosion its much easier to break away because of lack of concrete cover. It is deficient design. BRE did the research into. It is the risk of a defect occurring. Thats the corrosion of the steel.

Inspector: How does humidity get to the embedded steel within the column.

Mr Askew: Limited very cover. Max 12mm of concrete. Concrete is porous. Ambient moisture in air will inevitably

Soak into the concrete. Less cover you have got easier it is to reach the steel within.

Inspector: Mr Lawton does that concur with your understanding.

Mr Lawton: Yes it does but also on the Dyson report we don’t actually see the foundation we start 3 panels up on the concrete panels, so we don’t know if any proof at the base are actually rotten.

Ms Wigley: Matter of clarification with Mr Askew. Can I just check that the weather ingress externally coming through shiplap panels can affects external columns and then the potential for internal columns to be affected by humidity in bathroom and kitchens. Can I clarify that?

Mr Askew: that’s correct.

Inspector : Move onto the existing condition. 2020 report which looked at each of the 70 houses on the appeal site detailed in appendices and summary at section 4. Gives RAG classification. Can you give overview as you understand it. As you see the condition of the housing stock on those two roads?

Mr Askew: They base their report on the BSE guidance and it refers to number of defective columns in a row. If 3 or more defective columns they pose a risk to stability of the building in the long term. That is the RAG categorisation you have the RED AMBER AND GREEN. Where you have 3 or more columns defective its a classification of red. Less than 3 it comes down to the Amber category. On two properties out of 70 where there was slightly less damage it was green and it would be expected to inspect bi-annually to keep eye on condition.

Inspector: To be green has the property got to have no damage at all to columns.

Mr Askew: I believe that to be the case, yes.

Any defective column must be made redundant. By virtue of the fact that the floor joists are bolted into the columns to make them redundant you would need something in its place to support the floor.

Inspector: I don’t want to go on to potential solutions I just want to stick to the current condition. The RAG framework does that solely relate to columns only or are there other factors.

Mr Askew: Classification is an indication of defects to the columns, columns only. Thats the key criteria in terms of Airey House construction.

Inspector: Any defects been made about the panels or any other part particular to Airey house construction?

Mr Askew: Shiplap panels had dislodged in some areas but it is fairly minor and report focussed on precast columns. It briefly reviewed roof space and they were unable to inspect the floors due to the coverings.

Mr Askew: Dyson report noted it in passing and I would say that they would need to be inspected by timber specialists if they were to retain the timber elements.

Inspector: Does it relate to corrosion or are there other matters.

Mr Askew: Picked up as a defect is cracking or spoiling of the concrete if concrete is fallen away as a result of corrosion causing cracking.

Inspector: if damage to 3 in a row. Is it right that properties identified as red could vary considerably in condition? Some relatively small crack but some with more extensive cracking?

Mr Askew: You could but its still a sign that element has deteriorated and its losing its ability to support the load it was intended to carry.

Ms Wigley: Point of clarification. You said any cracking including a hair line crack that would contribute to the RAG classification. In your general structural knowledge would a hair line crack not be caused by something other than steel corrosion.

Mr Askew: Depends on the form of construction generally take a view on hair line crack and may attribute other causes but given relatively small sections we are dealing with its unlikely to be any other cause in such a small section.

Ms Wigley: You wouldn’t just have hair line cracks appearing cosmetically like you would in other houses where you see them in mortar? Its not something that just happens? It would almost definitely be from steel corrosion would it?

Mr Askew: Its the most likely cause, you have a structure that is designated defective due to a specific issue. The vast majority of times if displaying cracking in a specific pattern it’s more than likely going to tie in with the fact that it’s down to corrosion of the posts, especially where the cracking is located.

Ms Wigley: Ok, but in the BRE classification quoted on section 3.2 of report on page 10 on pdf. “Structural integrity is at risk where 3 or more adjacent posts are significantly cracked or spoiled? Its noticeable there the word significantly cracked, presumably it would include a hair line crack in the definition of significantly cracked would it?

Mr Askew: It depends on your definition of significant.

I would say if crack is suspected as a result of corrosion that to me is significant as its already show signs of deterioration and structural capacity has been reduced.

Ms Wigley: If that was the case it would say any cracking then wouldn’t it?

Mr Askew: I take your meaning but we are looking at long term deterioration of the structure. If left in current state there is a risk it will continue to deteriorate as a known issue with these structures.

Ms Wigley: But when you say Long term, the RAG classification is quite short term isn’t it? 1-2 years? So if any cracking taken into account is it not overestimating the shortness of time in which intervention is needed. Any hairline crack now wouldn’t necessarily lead to structural instability within two years or even within 1 year would it?

Mr Askew: My understanding is that Dyson would pick up all of the cracks including hair line cracks. They are the experts in this field. They have been doing it for 40 years they are one of the leading companies in this field. They have made assessment based on their assessments of the cracks. I’m looking at photos of cracks and its my opinion of what’s hairline vs what isn’t.

Ms Wigley: They use the word hair line in a lot of the photos so it does appear they have taken account of hair line cracking and classified that as significant with the BRE RAG classification.

Mr Askew:  demonstrates corrosion has occurred and that column is in process of losing ability to support loads.

Ms Wigley: Can I ask a further question about deteroration - report refers to deterioration between 2018 and 2020 and that would give an indication of rate of deterioration. Page 19 in PDF. 3.5.5 - Do you have that Mr Askew?

Mr Askew. I have these two documents and I have visited the site and had a walk around and been inside two properties.

Ms Wigley: But you haven’t seen any further results from the 2018 report?

Mr Askew: I’ve had the original.

Ms Wigley: It has the 2018 appended to it doesn’t it.

Mr Askew yes.

Ms Wigley: The 2018 report was 5 houses wasn’t it?

Mr Askew: Yes

Ms Wigley: Its impossible to objectively understand the deterioration as I understand the tables, columns or photographic records are not presented in the same way. In relation to the houses inspected in 2018. Its in 3rd one appendix F, the last document in appendix G.

Ms Wigley: You can’t compare like for like can you.

Mr Askew: Not directly no, so we are relying on Dyson to make that assessment.

Ms Wigley: So we are relying on their judgement. Do you know why you were asked to give evidence rather than anyone from Dyson?

Mr Askew:  It was to give a second opinion. Obviously the buildings have been inspected by someone who is an expert in that field. It was just to get a second opinion on that report.

Ms Wigley: But you’re not able to explain the judgements that went into the comparison between 2018 and 2020 for the deterioration are you?

Mr Askew: Other than they have 40 years experience in this field and are considered experts. Its not for me to question their assessment as such.

Ms Wigley: No but it is for me to question it unfortunately and I can’t ask them so I am asking you, but you can’t give an answer can you because …

Mr Askew: What is the suggestion sorry is it the suggestion Dyson are over egging the report?

Ms Wigley: Well, potentially because we just looked at the word significantly and the BRE very much used the word significant cracks as Indicating structural instability. You’ve confirmed Dyson have used and included hairline cracks in relation to that. My suggestion is that they are over egging the immediacy of what is required. You fairly accepted it’s a long term indication of hair line crack.

Mr White: Thats not fair he didn’t accept that

Ms Wigley: I think he did he said it’s looking at long term of stability.

Mr Askew: If you look at rate of deterioration that’s been mentioned Dyson have indicated that it has deteriorated in relatively short time period. We’re not talking long term.

Mr White: I’m distinctly unhappy Ms Wigley is trying to turn this into cross examination.

Inspector: Fair point Mr White.

Ms Wigley: I apologise if it’s starting to take that tone, but they are genuine queries and it’s a force of habit. Im not trying to be unfair im trying to explore the RAG system and understand it in more depth.

Ms Wigley: If you can ask at appropriate time Mr Lawton or Mr Rogers about slenderness of the column.

Mr White: I want to assist you, I want Ms Wigley to provide confirmation that she will get Mr Lawton and Mr Rogers professional qualifications so you know those and I know those as it might be relevant at later date.  Appendix C, orange table. First page of Appendix C.

Ms Wigley: page 29 of pdf if it helps sir.

Mr White: Do you know Mr Askew about 18 columns on the front elevation & underneath they have tick or cross and I assume a tick is inspected and a cross is not inspected.

Mr Askew: that’s my understanding

Mr White: Assistance for Inspector that you get C for cracked S for Spoiled? I for Insulation? Do you see those.

What does spoiled mean?

Mr Askew: a crack but where the concrete itself breaks away. Where its fallen away from main section.

Mr White: Column 8 which is replicated throughout Appendix C. We see C cracked 700x1 What does that indicate the 700x1 as opposed to say Column 10 which has s / c 600x1

Mr Askew: So Column 1 would be 1 crack 700 mm long. Column 10 would be both cracked and spoiled? 600mm long.

Mr White: If the inspector wants to look at the extent of cracking you can goto photo log appendix D. Whilst they don’t identify each crack you can then look at the other appendix or not?

Mr Askew: Thats correct.

Ms Wigley: Just why we are here with the table . This is number 1 sugar hill close. I think this is one that was also inspected in 2018 report. Very helpful just explained the extent of cracking in 2020 this table is showing.

Mr Askew: Yes this is 2020 report.

Ms Wigley: So I think there are 3 columns showing cracking 2 in front elevation and 1 in gable end is that the right interpretation ?

Mr Askew: 2 cracked in front and in the gable Column 13 yes that’s correct.

Ms Wigley: None in the rear?

Mr Askew: None that are cracked but 7 wasn’t able to be inspected.

Ms Wigley: Of the 6 that were inspected. No cracking.

The “I” just means insulation present.

Mr Askew: Yes

Would you have any feel for how what this might have been two years before. What sort of interpretation would Dyson have formed?

Mr Askew: They have benefit of doing inspection in 2018 and then gone back to do comparison to retrospectively guess at what the condition would have been at time is difficult as depend on environmental factors.

Inspector: I’d like to know your view about the 70 houses. What extent you agree or disagree with Dyson. If particular points of difference id like you to be clear about those. If you consider there are problems Id like to know exactly what those are.

Mr Rogers: Im in agreement on most points. Same with the Dyson report. We are not in a position to disagree with the condition of the properties with exception of perhaps the timescale they are going to become defective. Im not a structural engineer. Im from Westdale group. They are the contractor that installs the Structherm system. We’ve installed the system on hundreds of different property types across the UK. We’ve done a couple of hundred Airey properties in the past as well. So we have got practical hands on experience of doing the repairs.

Mr Rogers: Slenderness or under-design of the concrete frame. There is 18 on elevation to compensate for size. The way to repair is to agree with Mr Askew and to make the defective redundant. Thats what the Structherm system does.

Inspector: can we just stick to the existing condition Mr Rogers for the moment. Less cover. More water can get easily into the post. Is that a view that you share?

Mr Rogers: I wouldn’t disagree no.

Inspector : What about drilling holes in the posts for provision of services. What effect would it have?

Mr Rogers: The vertical post would be defective. It would become Useless. It would depend on extent of drilling but if we are talking services going through it then yeah.

Inspector: In terms of RAG system. Whats your view?

Mr Rogers: Im not qualified to criticise what Dyson have done nor to disagree. General building experience and looking at deterioration of most construction sites I don’t see how they can put a timescale on it. Understand logic of RAG but can’t understand how you say property is unsafe to live in within 12 months.

Inspector : Let’s look at it a different way. If there is evidence of 3 columns in a row with evidence of cracking. Rather than 1 or 2 and then a gap. Is that more significant when they are together?

Mr Rogers: I’d agree so yeah.

Inspector: In these types of properties. If there is evidence of cracking whether hair line or something more substantial  where concrete is falling away. Is that a matter of concern?

Mr Rogers: This is where I disagree. I think if you have hair line cracking it all depends on the crack. As Mr Askew pointed out, it was unskilled labour that erected these properties in the first place. Chips, cracks, hairline damage bits that have been interpreted as falling could have been done at construction stage. They might have been there since the properties were put up. It’s subjective. To me a crack is a crack and there are one of a million reasons it could be caused by.

Mr Rogers: I agree a crack is more likely to be structural but I would not say 100% that every single crack is a risk or a direct result of corrosion of steel in the centre.

Inspector: If not a result of corrosion of expansion taking place and causing it to happen. Once it has occurred. Does that cause weakness to that structure. Is it more likely that moisture or water could penetrate.

Mr Rogers: Not necessarily it depends on the extent. It depends on if your talking a crack or a chip or the extent of it.

Inspector: Putting aside your reservation about timescale linked to RAG. Do those categories indicate the level of seriousness. 15 properties where fairly serious and 53 where attention is required and 2 in most favourably.

Mr Rogers: If I lived in one and I was presented with Dyson report I’d want to fix it. Regardless of colour. It’s only going to get worse. If I put myself in owner-occupier position and Id been given that report I’d  want to fix it regardless.

Inspector: Is it your view they are all vulnerable in this respect

Mr Rogers: Yeah, I think they are designated defective for a reason.

Inspector: You said on a couple of occasions your not qualified to disagree with the Dyson report. I wonder if you want to go further than that. To what extent are you able to say from your knowledge of these properties. What extent is it a fair view.

Mr Rogers: We have had a visual look. In comparison to the hundreds we have done in the past. The elevations look plumbed. Theres no sign of movement Theres no excessive cracking. Sign of movement in the suspended PRC panels They look pretty good compared to what we are used to.

Inspector: I don’t think that was quite what I asked. You said look pretty good from visual inspection outside. What interested in is to what extent you can take a view that Dyson report gives a fair overview of their condition? That the great majority of the properties require attention?

Mr Rogers: Thats personal experience, personal credentials  its general building experience. Going back to Mr Askew described it. The BRE reports Ive read myself. Ive got 18 ??years of construction experience behind me and I would tend to agree if you have 3 extensions in a row that have all failed and your first floor is suspended on them extensions then your going to get some movement and some risk.

Inspector: Ok thanks Mr Rogers. Mr Lawton. Are there any points you want to add.

Mr Lawton: The condition compared to ones we have done in past are very good. Sometimes you can see where concrete panels have dislodged or sagged and majority of these properties are all still standing there as they should be. We have seen worse.

Inspector: is Dyson Report is it giving a fair condition of the properties?

Mr Lawton: It is, we can’t agree with RAG

Inspector: Is that because of your view re timescale.

Mr Lawton: Not just about timescale because there is only hair line cracks so from our point of view we can see them being repaired very easily.

Inspector: But nevertheless I take your point re timescale but notwithstanding that would you share the view with the red category are the most serious damaged?

Mr Lawton: Photos are not very clear. We can’t really disagree or agree.

Inspector : What Mr Askew says what determines if it gets red category is if damage to 3 columns in a row. Is that a reason for concern in your view?

Mr Lawton: It is yeah but again our system will overcome that.

Inspector: We will come to that before too long. Just trying to underhand the extent of the problem as they currently are. If go below the red category and some damage to 1 or 2 columns together. Is that nevertheless something that requires attention ?

Mr Lawton: It depends on degree of deterioration which it doesn’t really state.

Inspector : Can you comment on point Mr Rogers made he said if he was a resident and he was presented with that report he would want to get that property repaired and fix. Is that a sentiment you share?

Mr Lawton: I think everybody would. If you know you have got some issues. A lot of properties have issue. Not just Aireys traditional properties have issues and you can’t put it down to being Airey houses.

Mr Askew: Mr Rogers referenced they looked at the internal columns through a window seems unusual way to arrive  at conclusion that the internal columns look ok. We went into one of the properties and we looked at the column front on and you can’t see any cracking. You have to look at the side where the reduced cover is. Quite a significant amount of concrete in one case had come away and you obviously wouldn’t see that through looking through a window. It seems unusual to say they looked at it through a window.

Mr Rogers: If we didn’t see it we didn’t see it. I don’t want to go into any more we did look through window if we missed it. We are not going to argue it wasn’t there. It either was or it wasn’t.

Inspector: Mr Askew the RAG gives timescale for intervention. Whats your view on position on safety now. Thinking of what you say in para 5.2 of your proof.

Mr Askew: Timescales established by Dyson. No one is suggesting that when you hit 12 month or two year mark these properties are going to collapse but its a matter of risk. The longer the properties are left the greater the risk.

Inspector: Is it correct to say that they are a danger to life?

Mr Askew: At this moment in time there is no suggestion they are a danger to life.

Inspector: Move on to repair options.

Ms Wigley: Before we move on only other point that might be relevant what is the effect of the statutory designation on defective. Refer to appendix in Dyson report. Can we all acknowledge that one of the effects is to enable funding to enable compensation. Appendix E, the discussion there is about valuation and mortgageability. Looking back in 1984 act carried through to 1985 act was about reduction of value to have funding to entertain repairs.

I just want to check with Appellants that the designation of defective does not indicate a danger of life or unfit of habitation.

Mr White: It’s a legal submission. Mr Wells will give evidence on consequence for mortgages but I take no exception to the point Ms Wigley says in her first point.

Ms Wigley: Im grateful thank you very much.

Inspector: Inquiry adjourned until 11:55

(Missed some discussion due to connection problems)

46 Wordsworth Drive there has been movement within the foundations. They are both next door to each other. One below the other.

Mr Scott: It would need repair work as there is structural movement there. Depends on the signs internal. If same amount

Inspector: Dyson final report 2020 , section 4 at beginning. Page 17.

Mr Askew: Recommendations for Intervention.

Inspector: What do you mean by term structural redundancy.

Mr Askew: Implication that you have more members that you actually need is my understanding but as each individual joist is bolted to own specific precast concrete post im not sure where the redundancy comes in.

Inspector: If one column failed the design can cope with that?

Mr Askew: Given that each joist is supported by individual post, in theory the floor joist would go with it. There is a connecting member to bridge between the adjacent posts. Rather than everything collapsing it would effectively bridge between adjacent posts. This may be the logic behind 3 or more defective posts as you would lose the ability to bridge between adjacent posts.

Inspector: Thank you.  Feasilbility of repair options. Mr Askew. Section 3, full, and Structherm system over the page. Whats involved and whether feasible and whether other options are available which could retain the existing stock.

Mr Askew: based on guidance by BRE. Full removal of all precast concrete columns and full replacement with load bearing block work. Total overhaul remove designated defective elements. Work externally excavate around perimeter to form new foundation. You would have to prop the floors internally to allow posts to be completely removed. That level of disruption internally is totally unacceptable for anyone to stay in the property whilst that works goes on.

Inspector: You’re essentially changing the property to traditional constructed property?

Mr Askew: With that approach. Load baring walls become like traditionally constructed property. By time you finish you are effectively looking at a new structure.

Inspector: If floor and roof can remain and be properly supported. Is that all that remains?

Mr Askew: Everything will be stripped and rebuilt.

Inspector : Internal walls?

Mr Askew: Internal Walls have defects within them so they would need to be removed and replaced.

(Further discussion surround specifics of removals of internal walls. )

Mr Askew: Research on Timescales suggested 6-8 weeks.

Inspector: What can you tell me about the Structherm system.

Mr Askew: I think I referred to it in my proof as one intended for use on Airey Houses. Externally applied cladding system and the structural part its suggested it has ability to span from ground floor structure up to first floor structure completely bypassing the precast concrete posts and that it would span from first floor unto roof level bypassing the precast concrete posts. I agree it adds degree of structural stability overall. In terms of horizontal loading but my understanding is it doesn’t take on any load bearing vertically. So still reliant on the precast concrete posts to transfer your roof loads and your floor loads safely back down to your foundation. It doesn’t to my mind address the internal issues that need to be rectified.

Inspector: It is a wrap around system which encases the existing columns. Is that proper protection for columns in what is missing from the existing system?

Mr Askew: I believe the intention of the system is to encapsulate it so there is no gaps in the system it upgrades the insulation of the building and weatherproofs it.

Inspector: You say that’s the intention?

Mr Askew: Im not familiar with the use of it but it’s been used several times and I’m assuming it does perform its role. It’s not for me to question its ability to work. Im not suggesting it doesn’t work in that regard.

Inspector: If your not suggesting it doesn’t work and if we assume it does. Is it sufficient to stop deteroriation of columns?

Mr Askew: It would halt any further deterioration due to ingress from rainwater, there is still ongoing issue if deterioration is occurring because of humidity in the houses. The Structherm system wouldn’t address that as that moisture is still present.

Mr Askew: When panels are removed and panels are inspected remedial works are carried out to posts.

Inspector: With remedial works to posts and then encasing. Would that be an effective way to treating the problems that Dyson have identified.

Mr Askew: To replace the elements with something that is not going to deteriorate further in the long run combined with the exterior cladding to the external walls only. That would rectify that but there is the issue of internals. Any precast concrete posts in my view has to be guaranteed that they are not going to deteriorate.

Inspector: Do you think there is an ongoing concern as long as their columns remain because of their age?

Mr Askew: I would recommend that they would need ongoing maintenance. I don’t think its as simple as putting the system around and saying its good for another 30 years.

Inspector: Could the removal of humidity be dealt with by removing humidity using extractors in bathrooms for example?

Mr Askew: I don’t think you could guarantee with certainty that you could remove all the humidity that would stop the elements deteriorating.

Inspector: Your view is the columns need to be addressed, where does it leave you with coming to a view that Structherm is a potential answer?

Mr Askew: If you have a Airey in relatively good condition but we are in a position where they have deteriorated despite not being exposed to rainwater. If you encapsulate the building in Structherm system You can’t guarantee that further deterioration won’t occur to the remaining columns that are currently displaying defects. Anything that is defective needs to be remediated. Anything that is left in place is ongoing maintenance risk. On that basis Structherm should be ruled out.

Inspector : thank you for that. Mr Rogers, I Like to hear from you re existing properties and how they should be addressed?

Mr Rogers: Mitigating the internal moisture or possible moisture ingress to concrete posts as done in all construction bathroom and kitchen moisture is mitigated by ventilation.

Inspector: There is two options with Structherm options. Low rise and high rise solution.

Mr Rogers: There has been no engineers report or structural report with the Structherm system in mind. Mr Askew is right there are two key methods of using it. But it is a bespoke system.

Inspector : Examples you refer to Scheme at Wrexham Aireys. I can see photographs of two storey houses there. One that has prefab finish and one has been altered. Using that as an example. What form of cladding is attached to that building?

Mr Rogers: That is Structherm SEWI system. All permutations of Structherm systems use the same panel.  Its basically an insulation panel made from various materials, mineral fibre, polystyrene, it has stainless steel or galvanised steel cage running through it. Wire that is bent and welded into a cage structure that holds that insulation in place. Onto that we apply a render finish. Once it encases the cage its same principle of reinforced concrete. Its rock solid, it doesn’t move in any direction.

Inspector : How is it attached to the existing building.

Mr Rogers: Using example at Wrexham, it is hung on existing concrete statues.

Inspector: Looking at Wrexham photograph. Were they ship lap panels removed.

Mr Rogers: No. They remained in place.

Inspector: This is on the outside of the existing building.

There on the outside and fixed to the existing statutes and then built around the outside of the house and up?

Mr Rogers: Yeah.

Inspector: What about condition of existing statutes? Do they need to be addressed before you go any further? If defects have come to light.

Mr Rogers: This is where I’m not qualified to say. This is where you would have a structural engineer involved. They would have to examine the existing condition and determine whether they needed repairing or not. On the ones at Wrexham we had to do nothing at all. They were repaired in the 80s as part of the BRE designated defective. The government released a load of funding. Wrexham Council did the repairs then. We retrofitted the Structherm system on top and they have not been touched since the 80s.

Inspector : Thats one scenario, for example minor repairs that might need patchwork or larger works might be needed to columns themselves?

Mr Rogers: Another case study where we did 14 properties. They were repaired prior to our arrival as well. They replaced the columns with steel ones. We affixed ours directly into that.

Inspector: Have you had any where you needed to completely remove columns yourselves?

Mr Rogers: Never. At Wrexham the scheme was 250+ properties. Our portion was 150 delivered from 2016 to 2018. Out of 150 we were responsible for (there was another contractor that did 100) we did not have to make one single repair. The last time they were repaired was in the 80s.

Inspector: What type of repair have you had to do?

Mr Rogers: We’ve not done it we’ve never had to do it.

Speaking personal experience at Wrexham 150 - not a single repair.

Inspector: What about when prepared in advance for your work?

Mr Rogers: Yes, repairs have been done in the past like at Wrexham it was done in the 80s.

Inspector: The system that was used in Wrexham is that the kind of cladding system that you envisage could be undertaken at Oulton in Leeds

Mr Rogers: Absolutely definitely we have never come across one we haven’t been able to do. To put in perspective we have several buildings at our facility in Doncaster and our entire offices are built from it with no other support.

Inspector: Can you give me an indication of timescale Mr Rogers.

Mr Rogers: Typical Retrofit, structural element is 3 weeks inclusive of scaffold erect, enabling works, dismantling. Site cleanup. Wrexham was 6 weeks but we fully re-run them as well.

Inspector: Whilst work is going on outside the building. What is situation inside the house. Is there any disturbance? Any intervention?

Mr Rogers: Lots of noise, depending on type of boiler we will probably have to extend the flue as we add thickness too wall. Gas engineer would extend that and central heating would be off for a day. Power switched off momentarily whilst shift outside lights etc. Health and Safety issues if scaffold erected around property and its occupied. Make sure residents listen to brief.

Insepector: Are they always fully occupied?

Mr Rogers: Always yes.

Inspector: In your experience is this approach to dealing with problems of Airey houses. Can it always be applied or is there some circumstances where the Airey houses have deteriorated to such an extent its simply not applicable.

We have never found one. Worked in various areas. Im speaking on behalf of Westdale as the installer. Structherm never come across an area they haven’t been able to do. Off the ones they have done they have never had a failure. The Structherm structural system has never failed.

Inspector: Thankyou. Mr Lawton, Is there anything you want to add by way of our understanding and how it could apply to these houses.

Mr Lawton: If you use my proof and goto the last page. You can see the system can miss columns that have deteriorated. That can goto 3.6metres in length and span. Then render and finish can be brick effect or sunken?

Inspector: Does your system  If a situation with defective columns if its reliant to be fixed to those.

Mr Lawton: IF existing columns need to repaired. Epoxy resin, for minor repairs.

Inspector: Based on other works needing to be done.

Mr Lawton: It could be a full replacement of a column.

Inspector: Would that work be carried out by other contractors.

Mr Lawton: Yes it would.

Mr Lawton: We have used the likes of Dyson and have used them before to do survey reports.

Inspector: Would the existing panels be removed?

Mr Lawton: We would prefer existing panels to be removed so we could understand what was needed.

Inspector: If inspection was required to the property. Mr Rogers estimated about 3 weeks for the cladding work. Presumably it would need to be extended.

Mr Lawton: Definitely. It would depend on the detail of repairs and how far the post defects are.

Inspector : What about the situation inside the property?

If serious intervention is needed to columns what effect if any would it have on the internal arrangements and the ability of people to continue living there?

Mr Lawton: We have never had to decamp, out of all the properties we have done we have never had to decamp a resident never.

Inspector: And does that include situations where you have had to do column repairs ?

Mr Lawton: It must do because the columns were going to removed and tenants decamped, the tenants would have been decamped whilst we were on site. I would have thought so? I have never known it.

I known one Property BISF in North East. But it’s never happened for us. There was one case where foot joints needed to be replaced but it was a different type of property. Never on an Airey property and we’ve done hundreds.

Inspector: In terms of external cladding that can be applied there are a range of finishes that can be applied. Have read render and brick finishes. Are there others? Is there a finish that can be applied which is similar to appearance to how they look now.

Mr Lawton: Yes, it is literally dash. A plain dash would make them look like the existing look now.

Mr Askew: In relation to repair resin. It is just going to patch. Filling hole with resin is not going to rectify a defect with steel corrosion. Mr Rogers statement that their system can span between to tolerate more failures. No commercial or local authority is going to accept a failure. You don’t tolerate a failure. I don’t think this Structherm system should make it more tolerable for a failure. If any members in there you don’t want a failure whatsoever.

Inspector: By spanning the weight is being transferred past that column.

Mr Askew: How does the load get back to the cladding system?

Inspector: Noted Mr Askew your points.

Mr White: Just want to ask Mr Lawton to go back in Mr Askews proof. Final Sentence. The defects are due to…

Can I get confirmation that you do get a structural engineer. Often as you have said before Dyson or someone to give recommendation on whether there needs to be repairs or not. Is that right?

Mr Lawton: It is.

Mr White: I want to ask in regard to para 11 of Mr Lawtons statement that paragraph 11 does not include costings of structural engineers, and their recommendations and the costs of them repairs.

Mr Lawton: The prices given are just for Structherm system.

Mr White: Thankyou.

Mr White: Can he identify which are private sector landlords doing these.

Mr Lawton: 99% percent are usually housing association. They usually have the housing stock.

Inspector: On that appendix, what does O and A mean?

Mr Lawton: No idea I can find out will be to do with our technical department. I will find out.

Mr White: I won’t object to him coming back to you to help the inquiry. I want to discuss para 11 in viability evidence.

Can Mr Lawton subject to commercial confidentiality give indication of costs of scheme implemented in Appendix 1.

Inspector : I just want to ask about point raised by Mr Askew. Consequence Spanning the columns when joist attachment and how it is addressed?

Mr Lawton: It would be down to structural report. If is says it can span that column then it will be done. If it can’t and it needs to be repaired then it won’t be done.

Inspector: So if its got to be repaired

Mr Rogers: Thats precisely the point. Mr Lawton talking about missing columns. In practice we don’t actually end up missing columns at all. All Dyson have looked at is where corrosion tends to occur at the base. You refer correctly for support for first floor joist. We generally won’t miss it. Support is given all the way across. Its down to engineer to sign off and whether he will put his name to it.

(connection issues)

Mr Askew: We are talking doubling the load on theoretically defective design? For that load to find a new path. It doesn’t dictate that the columns would be able to withstand sorry 50% more load.

Inspector: If professional expertise of a structural engineer inspected every column on a case by case basis and indicated it could be done would that satisfy your concern?

Mr Askew : We’d have to see who was making that but yes if it was inspected on a case by case

(connection issues)

Inspector: ……Have you actually run it through to demonstrate what would be the case.

Mr Wells: I haven’t sir No. I think the business plan of the vast majority of commercial freeholders in this estate would be to sell the dwellings rather than rent them. I shown you even at 650 pcm and 750 ppm for 3 bed the rental is less than 5% yield. That is a very low yield.

Mr Wells: I said existing houses would need a 12% yield given the risks and the refurbishments. 5% falls well short of the hurdle would be.

Ms Wigley: Do we have any where before the inquiry evidence of the marketing excercise and the terms offered to the housing associations?

Mr Wells: I don’t believe we do. I have an email from my client. It sets out a letter sent to 27 housing associations inviting them to offer. I have note from client of the responses. I would have to check with Mr White but I don’t see why it couldn’t be put into the inquiry?

Mr White: You can absolutely do that but I would need to seek my clients consent.

(connection issues)

Ms Wigley: I’m not saying its entirely new, I don’t think there was any detail of what was offered in terms or who was offered. I don’t think its before the inquiry but if we can see that and ill park that for now.

Ms Wigley: If you do a 16.3% profit its a saving per house of £35,351 which equates to £28,134 refurb cost or in latter £26,149 and that’s before bathrooms and kitchens and everything else. Can you check Mr Wells if we are right on our artithmetic.

Mr Wells: I would be very pleased to check that. But I would say that the range between 15-20 in the MCHLHG guidance is almost always in relation to new development

The profit on my professional judgment would be at the 20% level and its probably higher than 20% but I’ve kept it within the guidance. Fact is we are not dealing with house builder territory. Refurbishment if done by Pemberstone wouldn’t be done at house builder profit levels.  Which are 15-20%. The 16.3% delivered from the new development option is a new house building profit.  I will check arithmetic but I wouldn’t want you to think I find it acceptable that 15% would be at what a private investor would do this at.

Mr White: Ms Wigley can you email them into the inquiry.

Ms Wigley: Yes I will do that.

Ms Bell: Curious about 5% yield figure set out in para 94.

Curious to understand as to how that figure has been derived by comparative yield rates with housing association projects and similar .

Mr Wells: This is not a housing association project.

HAs have low cost borrowing and different motivations for investing in real estate. I am looking at commercial return for commercial operator who has to borrow money to refurbish this. Looks at rate of return alongside baskets of other returns that they could invest in. Commercial property is soft at the moment. Residential property less attractive than it was. Residential investors are leaving the sector due to building safety acts post grenfell. It shows the government clear intention that they want to make housing safer.

Ms Bell: Thank you your table 9 and 10. Where you add various refurbishment costs. Appreciate it is a broad brush excercise. Would I be right to think that what hasn’t been modelled is the scenario in relation to the two properties in green.

Mr Wells: You are correct. I have included all 70 here. I haven’t distinguished between Red Amber or Green. You’re correct.

Mr Rogers: Question on Table 9, the total £108,000. Probably me but you have VAT on refurbishment items at 20% and professional fees at 20% but I can’t get them to stack up.

Mr Wells: I understand you’re difficulty. The items which have brackets afterwards that say if required. I have assumed only 50% of the houses will need that. You will need to take half of that sum to get to the figures I’ve used.

Mr Rogers: Is that the same for professional fees?

Mr Wells: Yes it is.

Mr Rogers: The figures look very high. 5892 window replacement we would be able to do it for 3500 supplied and fitted. We are competitive and its often the case that we don’t win the tender. External doors. £1000 a door. We supply 400 a door and supply and fit 200. Scaffolding we do every day. For a 6 week hire period. Looking 1000-1200 alone. Those items mentioned alone I can take 5-6000 pounds off the estimate which is a low.

Mr White: Before Mr Wells jumps in can I just say that Mr Rogers and his team have had these figures for four weeks and its completely new evidence for the first time. Completely valid that Mr Rogers has this view but it is a shame if Mr Wells didn’t have time to consider it.

Mr Rogers: Fair, I wasn’t planning on doing it. Figures are jumping out at me now. Obviously one thing to bear in mind we are a commercial company and a profit making company and I can’t devote all my time to this inquiry.

Mr White: Not a criticism of you Mr Rogers.

Mr Wells: As a professional person myself and in preparation of evidence as an expert for a public inquiry I have to use professional assistance where it is available. Using a chartered quantity surveyor they obtain their costs SPONS / BCIS comes to mind and established costs.

Mr Rogers: One thing I will say about SPONS are not testing the open market on a regular basis. Spons will be a last resort for me due to its accuracy.

My Lynch: Ive no basis for questioning Mr Wells but just make observation that he has stressed his modelling has been exclusively on the basis of Commercial consideration and viability in those defined terms.

Mr White: Not good enough, Id like Mr Lynch to say why he makes that point.

Mr Lynch: Not driving at anything. Im just noting with interest the distinction made by Mr Wells. The question of viability he has made clear. Im just noting it with interest.

Mr Wells: May I just make 1 point. I do accept that Mr Rogers and others could do these works for less if they were tendered out. First point would have to be very considerably less to get to the viability threshold. Its not 5-10k off the low. By my sensitivity analysis they would have to be some 41k less.

The second point if the works can be done significantly less. Lets say the Structherm cost of maybe 17k-20k plus VAT and fees. Cost of maybe 40k. If a private investor was expected to pay 40k for that they would expect a return on their investment. Multiplied by 70 houses. 40 x 70 is 2.8 million. If you say rate of return in the market is say 6% private concern has to recover £168,000 a year to pay for his investment. Now if tenants are to stay in situ the rents would have to rise by at least £200 a month per dwelling to deliver that extra return on investment. I don’t believe from the evidence Ive heard from saveourhomes that the tenants could afford to pay an extra £200 a month rent.

Thats the difficulty everyone finds themselves in here is that. The impact by the tenants would be felt. Unlike Wrexham council who doesn’t have to worry about the return this commercial concern at a modest rate of about 6% the rents would have to rise.

Inspector: Can you move onto Option 3.

Mr Wells: Yes that is the sought for planning consent which would give 70 dwellings on the site. Nearest development of any scale. Barrat homes at Methley is similar. You see from Table 11 evidence taken £280 per square foot. New build value £258.00 per square foot. Residual value. Appendix AWW4 BCIS Rate. Profit 16.29% which does fall in band of acceptability. 11 protected tenants who will move to new homes they enjoy statutory protections in their new homes and an investor or developer only get a discounted price for that because of statutory protections.

Mr Wells: Taking Pemberstone proposed phasing plan. To stay in existing houses until the first 11 dwellings are built. One move to a new dwelling, would be larger, more energy efficient and probably more pleasant.

Mr Wells: It is clear that any Commercial concern would pursue seeking planning consent and to deliver option 3 for delivering most value for their shareholders.

Inspector: struggling to equate figures in Appendix 3.

Mr Wells: I think it is because AWW3 does not have the discount necessary for the re-housing units.

Inspector: They don’t match do they?

Mr Wells: They don’t match no. Id like to check it in the break and come back to you and if I need to re-issue a new appendix 3 and 4 I will happily do so.

Inspector: In terms of option 3 or 4 Ms Wigley do you have any points of clarifications with regards to that.

Ms Wigley: We are not suggesting that developer would think refurbishing was more profitable that redevelopment. If redevelopment was not available and planning could not be obtained to rebuild and redevelop and the Structherm system could be done at 20-28k for 20k for Structherm system and extra 6-8k for structural repairs. Gives a yield on my arithmetic of between 15-16% Appreciate that is not what a developer would be looking for. But in situation the owner finds itself it would be a viable outcome a rationale thing to do and continue to rent them out or sell them on to rent them out or sell them on to a HA. All those outcomes are rational. I’m not suggesting a commercial developer would want to buy the site on that basis but given that may be a situation you find yourself  in you may not have planning permission. It would be a rational thing to do wouldn’t it?

Mr Wells: No I don’t think it would be rational. If we have to go down a Structherm solution ok we go with Structherm. You would not undertake a Structherm solution without improving the interior of these dwellings. They are dated, they are unmodernised. There are all kinds of words you could use. Some no central heating, possible asbestos, rewiring, replumbing and damage to internal walls. Them things get added to that 28k very easy to see how you get to 50-60-70k to do a proper job. I don’t think its rational for a commercial investor to think they would do a half job.

Ms Wigley: We may be at cross purposes.   My understanding the 28k im suggesting compares with your 61500 from Dyson and you factored in additional improvements in table 9. They all form calculation of loss of 732k on my artithmetic im comparing like for like including all internal improvements at 15% profit you still have a scope of replacing £61500 with £28134

Mr White: Its grossly unfair to put figures to Mr Wells for the first time…

Ms Wigley: I’m not asking him to accept the arithmetic on the hoof I’m asking him to accept the premise that like for like difference.

Inspector: Two cornerns. This is getting very detailed to come in at this stage and this could have come in as rebuttals at this stage. Secondly its getting like cross examination.

Ms Wigley: I apologise I should have sent them over last night. Can I deal with it like this. Im not trying to ambush anyone. I will provide the email with the figures and ask Mr Wells to consider the question overnight. Its an important point to properly assess the difference between repair and refurbishment costs. If you would enable me to do that id be grateful.

Mr Wells: I think you unfairly compare Stuctherm solution with the Dyson solution as being similar result. The fact is Structherm solution is good for 30 years. The Dyson solution is good its brick outside walls its good for 60+ years. They are not the same. Whilst housing authority a local authority may be happy to accept a 30 year extended life through Structherm. A private investor would do a proper job not meaning that Structherm isn’t proper but this is a comprehensive job which would come with a fully mortgageable life  no quibble 60+ year life to be sorted once and for all. The other point The Structherm quote you keep mentioning is on caveat that Structherm require the posts to be in good repair. There has been no report from Structherm. Dyson has identified a higher cost. It hasn’t been properly cost.

Ms Wigley: I understand that, but if you could agree sensitivity test of 15% and 16.3% as I think it may be relevant to rational if planning permission is refused.

Mr Wells: I would like to do it at 20% as well.

Inspector : If you email Mr Wells the figures and he will take a look. Thank you.

Mr Rogers: Dyson survey on the condition Mr Wells says it has been examined at Oulton properties. It’s not strictly true  it hasn’t been with a view to fitting the Structherm system to it. For all we know the higher up could be intact and able to have Structherm system attached.  It’s not the right test as to whether the Structherm system is or is not suitable. It’s irrelevant. We don’t know. It was repaired and done by same funding at around same time as Wrexham.

Mr White: It’s common ground that Structural evidence is required before Structherm can be considered.

Mr Rogers: Agreed.

Inspector: That covers option 3. What is basis for SaveOurHomes position in terms of Costs and Viability.

Ms Wigley: If I could ask Mr Rogers and turn to Mr Lawtons Paragraph 11.

Mr Rogers: 17-20k Structherm system including enabling works (growth, ivy, shrubbery, fences adjacent to the wall moved temporarily, outside taps, lights boiler flues. All things close to the wall. Inclusive of scaffolding. Starting point. Figures based on Wrexham. Plain render finish and brick finish. Worst case in costs. If dash based finish we could probably save uptown 1k for that.

Inspector: It would be appropriate to replace old windows?

Mr Rogers: It is not in my remit to say what clients should do with their properties. Im not against Mr Wells when he said if you were selling the properties you would do the works identified. I commented on windows earlier as a Ive seen a number of wooden ones and they do look like they have seen better days.

+ Professional Fees for Structural engineers

+ costs of repairs

It can be used in exactly the same way as Dyson repair and its still far cheaper than laying bricks and mortar.

Ms Wigley: Can I ask you to comment on brick and mortar on terms of life span.

Mr Rogers. It can be 2/3 cheaper than brick and mortar. It’s same principles of how new builds are being made now. When talking lifespan It’s only been tested for 30 but we have every confidence in 35 years we have not had a single failure, and therefore it will last for much longer. The only reason its not certified for more is because we didn’t have it tested for more. Ties in to Mr Wells said about primarily working for social housing clients who never needed more than 30 years. The other argument is on the birthday of its 30th year it failed you can replace it time and time again before you have spent the same money on brick and mortar.

Mr White: Have you ever known any commercial property owner take that approach. 30 + 30 + 30 approach.

Mr Rogers: I’m not old enough sorry, but in theory you can take it off and re-apply it.

Mr Wells: Structherm solution is as we heard principally for local authorities. I assume there is a 30 year certification and warranty on that. The 30+30+30 would certainly not be acceptable to a high street lender. If may I ask what is the solution with Mortgageability with Structherm solution.

Mr Rogers: In mid 90s, prior to acquisition. We had agreement with Norwich Union and selected lenders. Since the 90s building regulations changed. Construction for our boards has changed as thicker boards. We didn’t get the boards re-tested and have U rated applied and social housing haven’t needed the mortgage. They are not mortgageable currently. We recognise the need but we have not had the commercial interest to warrant us getting them lender agreements in place again.

Westdale Group purchased Sturctherm in 2016.

Mr Wells: Structherm solution is not currently mortgageable. That is a very serious commercial concern.

Mr Rogers: We agree completely, and I dare say that before this is all concluded it will be mortgagble once again but right now it is not.

Mr Wells: Deeper LoantoValue though there will be quite a gap. There are mortgages you can get on them now but the LTV equates to the land value. Totally agree.

Inspector: Mr White any further questions.

Mr White: No thank you very much sir.

Ms Bell: No thank you sir.

Ms Wigley: Thank you sir.

Inspector: Everything they want to say everything about viability.

Ms Wigley: Except for my email to Mr Wells asking him to comment in the morning, or to verify its accuracy at least?

Inspector: I see from timetable from tomorrow I am expecting to be here from half 9 and I can answer her questions tomorrow after looking at the maths tonight,

Ms Wigley: Would be helpful.

Ms Bell: It would be helpful to see Ms Wigley maths and the council would be keen to see what was mentioned about housing providers offered.

Mr Wells: Just remembered in officers report in application refer to study by University of London. Para 5.8 of that report. Document 0705. I just put that in there as well. In document pack item 0710 letter from residents action group that Airey construction type is difficult to deal with.

Whilst full surveys have not taken place estimated costs to bring repairs unto standard could be £45k per property. CD710.

Inspector: Inquiry has adjourned until tomorrow at 09:30am

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