BISF Houses with Green-coloured roofs 'shaming' council tenants claim  


Honorable Member Admin
Joined:7 years  ago
Posts: 520
13/06/2018 7:19 pm  

It looks like a freedom of information request that we sent to Birmingham City Council regarding the installation of Bright Green coloured roofs onto Council owned properties has caused a bit of a stir.

Honorable Member Admin
Joined:7 years  ago
Posts: 520
13/06/2018 8:22 pm  

During the Autumn of 2017, Birmingham City Council started to undertake long overdue refurbishment works to their BISF housing stock in Dugdale Crescent Sutton Coldfield.

The houses were to be completely refurbished with new kitchens, external insulation and a completely new roofing system was to be fitted as the old Decra roofs were around 30 years old. The local residents were pleased to see the Council finally taking some action as the properties concerned had received no major external maintenance for decades.

The project went quite well despite delays caused by the harsh winter but imagine the residents surprise when they saw the Council installing vivid green roofs onto the properties. At first, many tenants assumed that the green colour was a protective layer of film that would soon be removed but their hopes were soon dashed as Green when they realised that Green had been chosen by the council as their colour of choice.

It didn’t take long for e-mails and phone calls to arrive at my office from disgruntled residents who were not exactly over the moon about their shiny new roofs. One or two even went so far as to say the felt as though they were being ‘shamed’ by the council as their houses were now clearly identifiable amongst the neighbouring red and grey roofs of the privately bought properties.

As a result, we sent a Freedom of Information request off to Birmingham City Council asking why had they fitted bright green roofs to the council owned properties as this colour was clearly not in keeping with area.

Here’s a copy of our request

Dear Birmingham City Council,

You are currently undertaking refurbishment of Council Owned Non Traditional housing stock in Dugdale Crescent, Sutton Coldfield. Namely to BISF ( British Iron & Steel Federation, Steel Framed Homes). 
These properties have each been fitted with a Bright Green Coloured replacement lightweight steel roofing system. i.e Decra Tile/ Britmet steel roofing.

This colour is totally at odds and out of keeping with existing roof colours in the street and within the general locality. The majority of existing properties having red or slate coloured roofs.

The Green roofs instantly highlight each property as being Council owned and as a result, some residents have stated that they feel that the Council is shaming it’s tennant’s by making their properties stand, out amongst the majoright of RTB purchased homes.

I am aware that early adopters of similar replacement steel roofing systems in Dugdale Crescent, were only permitted to install a dark red coloured roofing system and that no other colour was deemed permissible.

Therefore, can you please explain why these properties have been fitted with bright Green Coloured roofs? 
Can you also confirm if the colour of the replacement roofing systems was approved by the local planning department and if so, please provide the relevant planning application reference?

Yours faithfully,

The Council replied to this request which you can view HERE

Several days later, it appears that our FOI has been picked up by the press who have ran with the story.

The Council has obviously defended the color choice, claiming that may of the nearby roofs had a green tinge due to algae growth. Whilst it is true that many steel roofs do suffer from this during the cooler wetter months such as autumn and winter, the growth is temporary and it does tend to fade away in the spring and summer. 

I’m certain that there was never any intention on the councils part to highlight who is and who isn’t a council tenant but there appears no doubt that some residents aren’t at all happy as their property may well have a huge sign on it saying ‘Council Owned’. It saddens me to think that anyone may be viewed or treated differently as a result of this as I feel everyone should feel equal and be treated equal no matter where they live.

It also saddens me to read some of the not so nice comments added to the online articles where some sweeping and derogatory comments regarding council tenants have been made.

What’s your take on this?

Do you think the green looks fine and there’s no issue here or do you think the council have dropped a clanger and that the green roofs unfairly highlight these properties?

I look forward to your thoughts.


Please Login or Register