Lincolnshire councils have committed to investigating if there is any potentially risky RAAC concrete in their social housing, though many are confident it has not been used. RAAC concrete, or reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, is a lightweight, ‘bubbly’ form of concrete widely used between the 1950s and the 1990s, reports the Mirror.
It was popular with developers as it was cheaper than standard concrete but it is estimated to have a lifespan of just 30 years, with the Health and Safety Executive warning that it may collapse ‘with little or no notice’. Lincolnshire County Council confirmed that there was no RAAC present in LA-maintained schools, and now councils are working to ensure the same is true in their housing.
A City of Lincoln Council spokesperson said: “We are unaware of any buildings within our stock that are constructed using RAAC. However, we have begun a piece of work which will include an inspection of various property types to ensure this is the case.
“In the unlikely event that any is found, we will formulate an appropriate response and rectify the issue accordingly.” Cllr Phil Dilks, the cabinet member for housing on South Kesteven District Council, said none of its housing stock should be affected.
He said in full: “None of SKDC’s housing stocks falls within the initial timeframe guidance issued regarding RAAC. Additional recent guidance suggests that RAAC was used as far back as the 1950s and as we have a couple of properties identified as being built circa 1947 currently empty, we are conducting further investigations on these properties.
“Full checks will be completed by the housing team by the end of this week.” If required, the council will carry out visual structural surveys that cannot be ‘definitively ruled out’ and a consultant could be brought in.
The situation was much the same in neighbouring North Kesteven. A spokesperson for the district council, covering towns such as Sleaford, said that they were ‘not aware of’ RAAC being used in the construction of social housing.
He said: “We have checked our construction records and found no evidence of RAAC within our estate. We are undertaking a further reviews to double-check and contributing to a national review alongside fellow council house stock holding authorities.
“In the unlikely event of any RAAC Being identified, we will work with the affected tenants in re-housing and rectifying the situation through a programme of works.” An investigation is currently underway on homes in South Holland, which encompasses Spalding and Sutton Bridge.
A spokesperson for the council said: “This investigation, which is being carried out by our property services team supported by a specialist contractor, will look through both paper and digital archives.” The council will also carry out physical surveys to assess the different types of buildings it owns.
The social housing in the borough of Boston and the district of East Lindsey is not maintained by a local authority.