To whom it may concern,
I wish to state, that as a Defective Materials Property Owner, I do not consent to the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme passing into legislation until key areas of concern are acknowledged, addressed and rectified.
Some areas of concern include:
ENTERING THE SCHEME
- Damage Threshold – the initial “damage threshold” – this needs to be clarified and agreed by all parties to avoid homeowners living in damaged properties for years before they can enter the scheme.
- The Building Condition Assessment – why does the panel engineer provide only the initial visual assessment report? There are countless examples of properties currently that have not got what would be considered extreme visual damage but core testing has shown that the property has dangerously high levels of deleterious materials, which obviously puts in the property owners in danger, especially if the property has bison slabs.
- Decision making on the testing recommended for the property – this process should continue as it currently stands – that the panel engineer decides which suites of tests are needed for the property.
- Decision making on the option recommended for the property – this process should continue as it currently stands – that the panel engineer decides which option best suits the property in question.
- The appeal process – who is involved in this process, is it an independent panel?
- Basic remedial work still remains on the list of options even though outer leaf repairs have failed on previously remediated homes. Without proper research it is impossible to prove that remedial options are sufficient, indeed if they are safe for the homeowners (see point relating to research below).
STANDARD & RESEARCH
- The standard I.S.465:2018 which is being used to assess our homes, was produced using a desk study only, with no laboratory work carried out. According to engineering experts this is nowhere near sufficient for a standard which is determining the future of tens of thousands of properties.
- It has never been categorically established that mica is causing our homes to deteriorate, full research needs to be carried out to investigate matters such as the fact that pyrite and iron sulphides are also showing up in results. This research is essential if there is any suggestion by the government that remedial options should continue to be offered to homeowners.
- The fact that none of the options currently include foundations, either in relation to testing or replacing. Due to the appearance of iron sulphides in results it is essential that foundations are included in testing to establish if they need to be replaced. Also when research is carried out, this will establish if mica and pyrite contribute to the failure of foundations.
- Property owners are being asked to contribute significantly towards the costs – this will prevent a large percentage of property owners from being able to take part in the scheme and that is totally unacceptable. This will mean that thousands of homeowners could be left living in structurally dangerous properties, which could lead to fatalities and will certainly lead to severe mental health issues.
These are just some of the areas of concern so it is quite obvious that the proposed Scheme needs significantly more research, analysis and development.
I repeat my earlier statement – I do not consent to this scheme being passed into legislation until all issues of concern are acknowledged, address and rectified.