The damage caused by the tornado that hit Victorian housing in north-west London last week would have been worse if it had hit a modern estate, technical experts have said.

The Kensal Rise area, which is predominantly made up of housing dating from the late 1880s, was battered by a 130mph tornado last Thursday that damaged roofs and tore the gable wall off one building.

But experts were unanimous in saying the damage would have been more severe if the development had been built in the past 20 years.

Andrew Allsop, associate director and wind engineer at Arup, said newer housing stock tended to be less able to withstand high winds.

He said: “New builds are not inherently weaker, but they are lighter, not built as well and are more likely to come to bits.”

Andy Hardy, director of building control for Brent council, said: “It all held up pretty well when you think that trees were torn in half by the winds. If it had gone through a modern housing estate I think we would have seen a lot more damage.”