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Question Airey House


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Hello everyone -

In early 1984 I moved, with my 2 children, into an Airey House belonging to Chorley Borough Council in Lancashire. Some 12-18 months later CBC started to 'do up' (I didn't know about it being a repair etc).

As far as I could see, they took off the shiplap concrete, put 'polystyrene blocks, (?) next to the internal plasterboard, covered this with metal meash, sprayed the whole house (bar the gable end) with concrete and pebble dashed it. It was a Southern firm that did this and apparently they had done many Aireys 'down South'. They worked on 4 Houses, out of around 16 in this way. Then...... the bloke across the road (who owned his) decided to take the grant and brick his up. CBC decided to follow his lead and the remaining 12 houses were similarly bricked up.

Years passed, I met a lovely Scouser in 1997 and we married.  In early 2004 I inherited some money and OH had sold his own property so we bought our ex Airey House for cash.

It has been extensively improved and this year we started to build a generous Kitchen extension. We've demolished some out building and the drainage has been laid, ready for the footings. We decided that, rather than exhaust our savings, we would apply for a £30,000 equity release......

A surveyor came and told us we needed a PRC certificate as without it any Mortgage/Loan was impossible!!

I've contacted CBC for this certificate but they said that as the properties had been passed to a Community Housing Company the files would have been passed on to them (Now Jigsaw Homes)

Jigsaw Homes say that as we bought before CBC passed on their rental properties, the files would still be held by CBC.   HMMM........... all a bit suspicious?

As the street is undergoing 'gentrification' most of the properties are now in private ownership and have, like ours, been improved.  The property opposite (bricked) has just sold for £200.000 and the one next door (bricked) fetched £134,000 6 years ago in an unimproved state. The owners of these properties paid £1.000 for PRC certs and one kindly lent us his copy - which I attach.

You can see that the PRC refers to 'bricks' and not to the form of repair that we had?

Does anyone know which firm would have repaired our home and whether it is an acceptable form of repair for lending purposes?

Also - has CBC any responsibility as regards selling me an unmortgageable/potentially unsafe house?

We are contacting 'Alan Cairn' as regards a PCR as this was the firm that dealt with others in the street and meanwhile, we are having to continue with the extension as the site is a potential danger as it is!

Thanks in advance,





If it's of any interest here are my discoveries so far -

There are two kinds of certificates accepted by AVIVA (for one). PRC Homes Ltd Repair Scheme or Non-Traditional Homes Appraisal Scheme (NTHAS) Category 5, as confirmed by a NTHAS Structural Engineer.

My House was repaired by the 'Shaw Concrete System'.

The PRC provider used by neighbours says he doesn't issue for the Shaw system but suggested I contact Michael Dyson Associates  Ltd as the firm originally patented the Shaw system.

I've written to the CEO of Chorley BC re supplying me proof that my house is safe and that they didn't pass on a poison chalice that is dangerous/unmortgageable. I wait with baited breath...

Hopefully the relevant guy at Dysons will contact me when he returns from leave on Friday.

I'm not a happy bunny and I'm quite prepared to take this matter much, much further. I have a history of successful campaigns behind me and have quite a few political contacts. I'll save the Speaker of the House (who I was a campaign organiser for in '97) until last. Strictly speaking he's no longer my MP so, if necessary, I'll use my new one.

I hope all this may be of some use to others here.


1 Answer

Hello Pat, unfortunately I've not been very active in the forums recently due to a long term illness but I have been popping by when I can to keep an eye on the threads.

It's so unfortunate that you have had to go through all this trouble, simply to obtain a few simple answers in relation to you home. It was very disappointing to see your local authority pass the buck to Jigsaw homes, who also appeared unable or unwilling to assist.

I commend you for your work and perseverance with this matter and I do hope that Michael Dyson Associates Ltd will be able to supply the information you need. Have you had any further response from them to date?

I am aware of the Shaw Concrete System but I have yet to actually view or inspect one myself. I've also trawled through my extensive research archives but unfortunately I was unable to locate anything significant.

I also searched the Google patents database relating to Airey House repair systems. I found two different applications listed, but neither systems appear to contain any reference to 'The Shaw System'.

I have attached the two 1983/84 Patents below, just in case they are useful to anyone else.

I'd be very interested to hear any updates you may have had and I'm sorry I can't assist you further.

Sincere regards