What is a dangerous structure?
A dangerous structure as referred to in this context can be described as: 'A building or structure, or part of a building or structure, either internal or external, or something attached to a building or structure, which has deteriorated or been damaged to such an extent as have become a danger to people in or around the building.'
Who is responsible for removing the danger?
The owners of the building or structure, are responsible for making it safe and for any costs involved. However, if the danger cannot be resolved in a reasonable time, the local authority may remove the danger.
I am concerned about the safety of my property, what should I do?
If you have any concerns about the safety of any aspect of your property, it is essential that you seek expert advice from chartered surveyors or structural engineers. Temporary shoring or propping may be appropriate, but in the long-term more permanent solutions may be required. In some instances, Building Control Approval or Listed Building Consent may be required to carry out the work proposed - please contact us if you are in any doubt.
I am worried about what I believe may be a dangerous structure, what should I do?
Assuming it is not your own property and you feel that there is a real danger, contact us on 01273 292050.
We'll need to know:
- the exact address or location of the problem
- the nature of your concern
- your contact information
- any other information that you feel may be of help
If your concern is not urgent, you can use our online dangerous structure report form.
What happens next?
What powers do the council have?
The council have powers under the Sections 77 & 78 of the Building Act 1984.
If the structure is considered immediately dangerous and the owner cannot be contacted straight away, the Building Control Surveyor will endeavour to make the situation safe or arrange for a builder to remove or repair the structure as soon as possible. The council's costs are recoverable from the owner of the property.
If the structure is considered to be potentially dangerous, the owner of the property will be contacted and requested to arrange for the structure to be removed or repaired. The area surrounding the structure may be fenced off, whilst the structure is being dealt with. If the council have to provide barriers the costs incurred will be recovered from the owner.
Are there any other considerations?
If it is proposed to deal with a potentially dangerous structure by demolition or removal and it affects a listed building or one in a conservation area it will be necessary to contact City Planning first.
If it is proposed to deal with a potentially dangerous structure by demolition or removal and it affects the existing means of escape from a building, such as a fire escape, etc, then it will be necessary to discuss this with Building Control first.
If it is proposed to deal with a potentially dangerous structure by demolition or removal, the Party Wall Act may also apply. If so, you should give separate notice under this act to the adjoining owners. An explanatory leaflet has been published which can be viewed here: Party Wall Act (explanatory leaflet) (PDF 597kb).
Summary of downloads, links, and other relevant information
- Building Control home page
- Online dangerous structure report form
- Planning home page
- Details of 'Conservation Areas'
- Directory of 'Listed Buildings'
- Building Act 1984
- Highways Act 1980
- BS:6187 Code of Practice for Demolition
- Health and Safety at Work booklet- 6E safety in Construction Work Demolition
- Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation) Act 1990
- Construction (Working Places) Regulations 1966
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994
This list may not be exhaustive and is for guidance only.
The information given above is intended to give general and non-specific advice. Each dangerous structure has be treated individually and therefore if you have any doubts please contact us to discuss matters further.