Council takes action after Mundic block found in Callington properties

Residents of 15 Callington properties are being re-housed and supported by Cornwall Housing after tests revealed a severe case of Mundic block in the properties that has made them unsafe to live in.

Housing officers were alerted to the issue following reports of ongoing damp by the tenants at two of the affected properties in Urban Terrace, Callington. Further surveys were swiftly undertaken which revealed problems in a further 13 houses. Ten of the homes are under the ownership of Cornwall Housing and five are privately owned.

Continue reading

Cornwall Housing determined the properties were no longer safe to live in due to structural instability and moved quickly to contact residents with face-to-face meetings held last week. For safety reasons, the homes will be demolished once all are vacated.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Homes, Andrew Mitchell, said: “My sympathies go out to those affected residents. While their safety is our utmost priority, I appreciate that losing your home and having to relocate is incredibly distressing and this must be heart-breaking.

“We will do our utmost to minimise the impact by finding them suitable permanent homes as close as possible to their current residence if they so wish, or an alternative area of their choice.

“I and Councillor Long intend to meet with the residents to assure them that Cornwall Council will act as swiftly as we can to help them get on with their lives.

“Given the challenging timescales we are working to, we are renting private  accommodation as a stop-gap until permanent housing can be found.”

As well as supporting the tenants affected to find a new home, Cornwall Housing is also providing support and advice to private homeowners on finding a new home in their preferred area, an offer of a free survey from the Council and discussions about possible acquisition and any related compensation for the loss of the property.

Council tenants will be found suitable permanent homes as close to their current residence or an alternative area of their choice. If tenants are temporarily housed in accommodation further away from important services like their regular school or their GP surgery, the Council will provide transport.

It is believed that this is an isolated case and while there are currently no concerns identified in other areas, Cornwall Housing will continue to monitor the situation.

Callington Councillor Andrew Long said: “The safety of our residents is the top priority here in this difficult case. Cornwall Housing officers acted swiftly to contact the residents and owners of the affected properties and while it’s upsetting, everything possible is being done to provide help and support. Callington Town Council - under the lead of the Portreeve and Mayor Mark Smith, and Clerk Helen Dowdall – have also said the Town Council is ready to offer any help that might be needed during this difficult time.”

Mundic block is where certain minerals were used to mix concrete in the period between the 1900’s and 1950’s which has since been known to absorb moisture and cause severe degradation to the material.

It is believed that an especially wet winter,  combined with poor local ground drainage and a batch of concrete blocks high in poor mineral content, have led to conditions accelerating the effects of Mundic in the Callington homes. 

There is further information about Mundic Block on Cornwall Council’s website /mundic  

Posted on 20 September