The prime concern for Building Control in all aspects of its work is public safety. This is possibly most obvious in our work concerning dangerous buildings. Buildings can, and do, become dangerous for a number of reasons, including neglect, combined with age, vehicle impact, fire and badly carried out alterations. Where a building is in such a condition that it may pose a threat to the safety of any people in and around the area, we have the legal powers to investigate and make it safe. Simply run down or dilapidated buildings are not necessarily considered dangerous and minor items (such as damaged timber fencing panels) are also unlikely to qualify.
We attend any reported incidents, or danger, as soon as possible, with three possible courses of action carried out:
If the reported structure, in our professional opinion, is not dangerous, then we will take no further action.
If we consider that a possible, but not immediate danger exists, we will contact the owner and serve a Dangerous Buildings Notice. This will set out the time by which the building/structure has to be made safe and the danger removed.
If the structure is considered to be in imminent danger of collapse, or part has already collapsed, the Building Control Officer will try to contact the owner of the building or structure to require their urgent action in removing the danger. If the owner is unavailable, unable or unwilling to arrange for the danger to be removed, our officer will arrange for a contractor to undertake the minimum work necessary to remove the danger. This can often involve putting up barriers or fencing to keep people away from the dangerous area until a more permanent solution is found. All actions taken will be confirmed in writing and, if known, the owner will be advised of the likely cost involved.
Where the danger is such that a building becomes uninhabitable, we can arrange for a Housing Officer to contact you regarding temporary accommodation.
What charges will be made for this service?
No charge will be made for the advice or guidance given by the Building Control Officer. However, where it is necessary to use a contractor to deal with the danger, payment of their charges will be the responsibility of the owner of the building or structure.
If you notice a building in the district that you think may be dangerous, you can complete the dangerous structure online report form. Please include the location of the structure or building.