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Dangerous structures and public safety

Building Control has a responsibility to deal with dangerous buildings as they occur. Buildings may become gradually dangerous due to old age, deterioration or settlement, or by more dramatic causes such as storm, explosion, fire or impact by vehicles.

All buildings which appear to be dangerous should be reported to Building Control by calling 01872 224792. We will treat the matter with the utmost urgency             

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If it is considered that a building is immediately dangerous Building Control can require immediate evacuation and require, or take, any action necessary to protect the public and adjacent property. Such action may involve temporary road closure, barricading, shoring, scaffolding, repairs or demolition.

Where the building is not immediately dangerous the owner will receive a Notice requiring the property to be made safe within a stated time and, if satisfactory action is not taken, an Enforcement Order may be issued.  If this is not complied with, the Council can instruct all necessary works to make the building safe and recover expenses from the owner.

Please report dangerous structures by telephone 01872 224792 (24 hours).

Please note that when immediate work is required to make a structure safe, a charge will be levied to cover surveyor time and recover reasonable expenses. 

Section 102 and 103 of the Building Act 1984 provide a right of appeal for notices served under the Building Act 1984. Section 102 and 103 are provided below for your information.

102 Appeal against notice requiring works

(1) Where a person is given a notice in relation to which it is declared by any provision of this Act that this section applies, he may appeal to a magistrates’ court on any of the following grounds that are appropriate in the circumstances of the particular case—

(a) that the notice or requirement is not justified by the terms of the provision under which it purports to have been given,

(b) that there has been some informality, defect or error in, or in connection with, the notice,

(c) that the authority have refused unreasonably to approve the execution of alternative works, or that the works required by the notice to be executed are otherwise unreasonable in character or extent, or are unnecessary,

(d) that the time within which the works are to be executed is not reasonably sufficient for the purpose,

(e) that the notice might lawfully have been served on the occupier of the premises in question instead of on the owner, or on the owner instead of on the occupier, and that it would have been equitable for it to have been so served,

(f) where the works are works for the common benefit of the premises in question and other premises, that some other person, being the owner or occupier of premises to be benefited, ought to contribute towards the expenses of executing any works required.

(2) If and in so far as an appeal under this section is based on the ground of some informality, defect or error in or in connection with the notice, the court shall dismiss the appeal, if it is satisfied that the informality, defect or error was not a material one.

(3) The appellant—

(a) shall, where the grounds upon which the appeal is brought include a ground specified in subsection (1)(e) or (f) above, serve a copy of his notice of appeal on each other person referred to, and

(b) may, in the case of any appeal under this section, serve a copy of his notice of appeal on any other person having an estate or interest in the premises in question, and on the hearing of the appeal the court may make such order as it thinks fit with respect to—

(i) the person by whom any works are to be executed and the contribution to be made by any other person towards the cost of the works, or

(ii) the proportions in which any expenses that may become recoverable by the local authority are to be borne by the appellant and such other person.

(4) In exercising its powers under subsection (3) above, the court shall have regard—

(a) as between an owner and an occupier, to the terms and conditions, whether contractual or statutory, of the tenancy and to the nature of the works required, and

(b) in any case, to the degree of benefit to be derived by the different persons concerned.

(5) This section has effect subject to any modification specified in the provision under which the notice is given.

General provisions about appeals and applications

103 Procedure on appeal or application to magistrates’ court

(1) Where this Act provides—

(a) for an appeal to a magistrates’ court against a requirement, refusal or other decision of a local authority, or

(b) for a matter to be determined by, or for an application in respect of a matter to be made to, a magistrates’ court, the procedure shall be by way of complaint for an order.

(2) The time within which such an appeal may be brought is 21 days from the date on which notice of the local authority’s requirement, refusal or other decision was served upon the person desiring to appeal, and for the purposes of this subsection the making of the complaint is deemed to be the bringing of the appeal.

(3) In a case where such an appeal lies, the document notifying to the person concerned the local authority’s decision in the matter shall state the right of appeal to a magistrates’ court and the time within such an appeal may be brought.