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'We would never house anyone in a RAAC building' - Refugees will NOT be housed at dangerous concrete sites

Ukrainian and Afghan refugees will NOT be housed in commercial units converted into apartments until the issue of crumbling concrete in a shopping mall has been fixed. An £8million plan to house the migrants in what are currently empty shop units at Altrincham’s Grafton Centre and above three shops in Urmston has been approved by Trafford council’s executive.

Liberal Democrat councillors last week expressed concern over the plans when it was revealed that the Grafton facility and the shops on Crofts Bank Road in Urmston contained reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in both buildings. However, Trafford’s executive member for housing and advice Coun James Wright told an executive meeting that there had never been any intention to house refugees in either building until the crumbling concrete issues had been remedied.

He said the plan was to a 'provide a prudent and sensible long-term approach towards procuring much needed, secure and long-term accommodation for refugees fleeing war and persecution’. Coun Wright said the provision would ‘not be to the detriment to people currently on the housing register’ and that eventually the properties would become council stock and would enhance Trafford’s temporary accommodation supply.

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He said that the council had been aware of the presence of RAAC at Crofts Bank Road in 2020 and has been made safe since then.

“The RAAC at Grafton was discovered during survey work during the summer. The plan was to replace the roofs in the properties. There was never a