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Dangerous structures and public safety

Contact the Building Control Section about dangerous structures. Staff are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will respond quickly to calls.

Structures may become dangerous because of:

  • old age
  • deterioration
  • settlement
  • explosion
  • fire
  • vehicle impact
  • storm damage

Call to report a dangerous structure

  • Call Building Control on 01225 477517
  • Out of office hours, call 01225 477477

Emergency Action

The council has powers to deal with dangerous or overloaded buildings or structures.

In the case of immediate danger, the council has powers to take action to ensure public safety. This can include fencing off dangerous structures, shoring, erecting scaffolding or even demolition. The council can recover any cost incurred from the owner of the building.


Normal Action

Where there is a lower risk to the public, the council can report the matter to local magistrates and obtain a court order. This requires the owner of the offending building or structure to make it safe, or to demolish it.

If the building or structure is in a conservation area, or is a listed building, the court would expect the council to use its conservation powers to resolve the problem first.

We always prefer to consult with the owner of the building to make the structure safe, before taking any legal action.


Neglected, ruinous or dilapidated structures

The council has powers to deal with neglected, ruinous or dilapidated structures.

The council may require the owner to restore or repair the site, structure or building. The owner may choose to demolish the structure, or part of it, and remove any rubbish where necessary.

Warning: You must get listed building consent or Conservation Area consent before you demolish:

  • any part of a listed building
  • any building situated within a conservation area

You may also need planning permission.