Historic Buildings in Disrepair

Powers available to address historic buildings in disrepair

Various powers are open to the council under the Planning Acts to address historic buildings in poor repair. Each power has particular implications, which must be taken in to account in deciding on an appropriate course of action.

In the case of vacant listed buildings in disrepair the council can, if necessary, take action to ensure that a building is kept weathertight and secure whilst its long term future is resolved. This is known as an Urgent Works Notice and such action is only taken as a last resort.

A more general power is available to the council under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This allows the service of a Notice if it is considered that the condition of a building or land is adversely affecting the amenity of an area. As ‘amenity’ is the key test, the scope of such notices is confined to visible parts of buildings and they cannot be used to require substantial restoration or structural repairs.

Further information on the powers available and priorities for action is set out in the Conservation Strategy [pdf 564kb].

How to report an historic building in disrepair

The Planning Enforcement team investigates all complaints about historic building in disrepair, in liaison with the Heritage team where necessary. Concerns about buildings should be reported using their Planning Enforcement Complaint Form.