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Help Identify Steel-Framed House North London

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Topic starter

Please help me to identify the developer of a 1960's steel-frame mid terraced home in North London.

I am having terrible trouble determining the construction methods involved in this 1960's non-standard terraced home. It is making the job of getting it insured rather tricky!

The development is in Winchmore Hill in North London, "Gatward Close" and was built in 1965, we think. It has a flat roof, and we believe it to be steel-framed with breeze blocks.

If anyone knows who the developers may  have been, or what the construction is likely to be, your help would be greatly appreciated.

Have a look at this link for more photos.

9 Answers

We have just inspected a swiftplan in north london and found corrosion on the stanchions below ground. still trying to find more info but they look to have a similar layout to 5M albeit with a different layout. we're based in southampton but undertake steel frame inspections and repairs over a large geographical area.


Hello Robina
The house is certainly unusual but I have seen something similar in the Southampton area a few months back. I did inquire with the estate selling the property back then but even they could not tell me the name of the construction, other than to say it was steel framed.

I shall do a little digging and see what I can come up with.

Marc Smile


I have found the name.
It appears to be a Swiftplan Multiflex. I'm not sure yet if it features on the list of defective housing act list as I would need to do some more digging to find that out.
There are a few variants of this type of house, some were timber framed and some steel framed such as:

Swiftplan Multiflex H - Steel Framed or Clad
Swiftplan Multiflex H12 - Timber Framed
Swiftplan Multiflex S - Steel Framed or Clad

I don't have much more than this at the moment I'm afraid but I hope this helps.

Let us know how you get on and if you find out any more information. Smile



Just a little more information.

The Swiftplan is not listed as defective under the housing act of 1985 and the brief information that I can find, they appear to be considered by most lenders as favourable for lending so I would assume that insurance shouldn't be a problem.

Community 5 robina Topic starter 25 October 2012 10:23 AM

Hi Marc,

Swiftplan Multiflex didn't turn up much on the internet.
Is that the name of the construction type?
Would you happen to know, or know where to find out, who the builders were?

Kind regards,


Topic starter

Thanks Marc,

This information is really helpful. I will do some research on Swiftplan Multiflex, and if I find anything I will post it here.
I don't suppose you know what the blue panel down the side of rear of the house is?


Hi Robin,

The blue bit appears to be part of the steel frame that is exposed, from the photo it looks as though you can see a welded join between the ground and first floor. If you tapped or knocked on it I'm sure you could tell.


Topic starter

Hi, I'm still having trouble finding out information about this construction.
Would anyone know who the developers might be, or how to contact them?

Futhermore if someone could a suggest a Surveyor that is experienced in these types of properties (pref. one who can work in London), we would be grateful.

Admin Admin 29 October 2012 7:42 PM

Hi Robina, I will try to delve a little deeper for you but there really is very little information available.
I will update you shortly.

Admin Admin 29 October 2012 11:18 PM

Hi Robina, I've been searching for hours and only found what could be a few clues as to who Swiftplan are or were.

Swiftplan built many buildings in the 1970's from cabins, to houses to cinemas (Dominion Cinema King Street). They were based in Southall and I think they merged or were taken over by Taywood Homes who later became Taylor Woodrow, the building company that we know today. Please don't take my word as gospel though as this is all that I can piece together from little snippets of information that I can find. I may be miles off but just trying to help.
There is very little information available other than what the BRE Bookshop holds and that's not much.
It's a little out of our knowledge base as we only really deal with BISF houses here.
You could try contacting the local council architects or surveyors department as they should be able to help.
Have you seen the original deeds or building plans? They may provide the original builders details.

I don't know of a specific surveyor for Swiftplan but you could give 1st Associated Chartered Surveyors a call on 0800 298 5424 as they have a large amount of detail re Non-Traditional houses on the website.

I hope this helps a little and please keep us informed as to how your search develops.



Topic starter

Dear Marc,

Thanks for all your help, you really have gone above and beyond! We haven't managed to get hold of any plans as they may have been lost by the council in a fire in 1986! I have also spoken to 1st Associated. I think for now this one will remain a mystery, hopefully the surveyor will be able to shed some light on the construction when he goes in. I will keep you posted!

Admin Admin 30 October 2012 6:02 PM

You're more than welcome Robina :0)
It's always interesting trying to find out about different and unusual non traditional construction properties and I know full well the frustration of not being able to find out much about them.
This was the main reason for setting up BISF as before its creation there was very little information available.

I have placed an order for a BRE Publication called Non-Traditional Housing. It's not cheap but it does include almost every non-traditional UK built house including the Swiftplan. I do not know when it will arrive as it has to be ordered from the printers but as soon as it does I will let you know if there is any further information that may help you.
This is turning into a bit of a treasure hunt, let's just hope there is a pot of gold for you at the end of the trail. :o)



Hi Robina,

have got any more deyails on this subject? I am currently looking to buy one of this properties.