What is a dangerous structure?
Where a building is in such a condition that it may place people in danger, we have legal powers to investigate, and to require that it be made safe. Typical examples would be walls which are leaning over or unstable, and roof tiles which are being blown off in high winds.
In order to be considered dangerous, a building must actually pose a threat of causing harm to a person. Buildings which are simply dilapidated or run down would not necessarily therefore be considered dangerous, and minor items (damaged timber fencing panels for example) are also unlikely to qualify.
Action we can take
Where we investigate a report of a dangerous structure, and agree that action is required, this will usually take one of two forms:
Immediate: If the building is so dangerous that we consider immediate action necessary, after serving the appropriate notice, we will employ contractors to make it safe straight away. In many cases this may take the form of fencing-off the affected area to allow remedial work to be carried out later by the owner.
Dangerous: Where the building is considered dangerous - but not immediately so, we will normally try to contact the owner and require that the work be made safe within a reasonable period of time. If the owner fails to do so, we can apply to a Magistrates Court for an order allowing us to do so instead.
Note that in both the above cases we can only require the minimum amount of work necessary to make the building safe, and will attempt to recover any costs we incur in doing so from the building owner.
How to report a dangerous structure
If you are a building owner and are concerned that part of your property may be dangerous, please contact Building Control and we will be happy to offer you advice free of charge.
If you notice a building in the Borough which you think may be dangerous, please contact Building Control and we will arrange for it to be inspected.