Dangerous buildings and structures
A dangerous building or structure includes anything on or about a building or structure that may be a danger to members of the public, including:
- Loose or falling roof tiles
- Walls or fences that are in danger of collapse
- Unstable chimneys
- Larger buildings that become unstable
Buildings suffer from an ageing process, which can result in the structure becoming weaker and, in turn, dangerous. Buildings or structures can also become dangerous as a result of poor maintenance, fire, storm, vehicle impact or explosion.
What will the Council do about a dangerous building or structure?
In most cases we'll contact the owner of the building and get them to remove the danger at their own cost.
If the danger is immediate and life threatening, we may liaise with the emergency services to close off the danger area, and arrange emergency works with the owner or independently. This may include temporary scaffolding or shoring to make the building safe until permanent work can be arranged, or the removal of the hazard by more direct means.
Where necessary, we can make the owner of the dangerous structure to make it safe or, in an emergency, take direct action to remove the danger under powers contained in Sections 77 and 78 of The Building Act 1984.
If the structure is considered to be in imminent danger of collapse or part has already collapsed, we will try to contact the owner of the building or structure to request their urgent action in removing the danger.
If the owner is unavailable, unable or unwilling to arrange for the danger to be removed, we will arrange for the minimum action necessary to remove the danger. This action 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 available, the owner will be advised of the likely cost involved.