[Solved] BISF Property Query - Chigwell  



I’m really interested in a Bisf property (159 Burrow Road, Chigwell, IG7 4NF) for which we went ahead but recently the searches highlighted a ground subsidence in that area plus a possible risk of flooding. I got a Building Survey done but unfortunately the report doesn’t answer the points I was interested in (like ground subsidence, asbestos presence, corrosion of steel frame, flooding risk etc.). Can you please share your views on this property as I am in a confused state post the search and survey results? Also, Any key points with respect to this property I should look for? Looking forward to have a response from you soon. Many thanks.





Hello Rahul and welcome. I noted that this question has been posted twice, once by Richa and once by yourself, so I have copied my response to both questions to save confusion.

I take it the ground subsidence relates to historic movement in the area as opposed to this particular property?

I would also presume that the flooding risk may be due the presence of the pool at the Hainault Forest Country park which would also suggest that the ground in that area has an impervious layer somewhere deep underneath. I am also aware that the River Lea in nearby Chingford burst its banks in 2014 and even closer, Redbridge suffered from flooding in 2016 ilfordrecorder.co.uk but these may well be isolated events in low lying areas within the area.

It may be worth you taking a look at this pdf document produced by Redbridge council, relating to specific flood risks in the area.


From your initial post, it would appear that the results so far are pointing more toward the location and position of the estate rather than the building itself. 

Just for info, the house stands 60m or 197ft above sea level which may or may not be relevant 

Can I ask what type of survey you had?

Was it structural or what it a valuation or homebuyers survey?

BISF houses were built on strip foundations which are not hugely deep or extensive but so where millions of other properties built during this period. In all my years of dealing with BISF houses I have only ever heard of one property suffering from subsidence and this was due to the foundation being built on top of heavy clay soil. Clay can dry out in periods of prolonged dry spells and cause any building to subside, be it brick, metal or stone.

Also, were any particular concerns raised in respect of the building itself?

You can always reply directly via e-mail if your survey contains any sensitive data. 

[email protected]

Finally, take a look at this 2000 article by the Money Guardian


It does cover some aspects that you have raised,

It would be good to hear from anyone living in the area itself too as to their views.




Hello Sir,


Many thanks for such a comprehensive response to my query and providing historical info related to subsidence and flooding in that area. It gave me a little peace of mind indeed. 


To answer your question, I got building survey done on this property. The survey also highlighted a probable risk of presence of asbestos in the roof, which is another cause of concern currently for me and my wife.


I understand that asbestos was removed from all of the properties in this area as a part of a drive taken by council. But I do not have any firm information of this. Even the seller is not able to provide conclusive evidence on when and how asbestos was removed from the roof of the property.

Could you share some insight on this please?




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