Dangerous structures

How to report a dangerous structure and what we will do to make it safe.

We are responsible for dealing with dangerous structures and have a surveyor on call day and night to respond to problems.

What we consider a dangerous structure

The term 'dangerous structure' covers not only buildings, or parts of buildings, such as loose slates or tiles, but also things such as garden walls.  In fact, it is any structure that could harm somebody because of its condition.

In general, there are two types of dangerous structure:

  • Structures, which are at risk of collapse and we need to secure for public safety. In these cases, we would normally re-charge the owner for emergency works
  • Structures, which following a survey, we consider are unstable but not an immediate danger. In these cases, we would give the owner reasonable time to remove the danger. If the owner fails to comply, we may ask for a magistrates' court order to get the work done.

How to report a dangerous structure

If there is an immediate risk

During office hours, you should report the dangerous structure to our Building Control team using the contact details on this page.

Out of office hours, you should call our out-of-hours telephone number, 01252 398183.

If there is no immediate risk

You can report the dangerous structure by contacting our Building Control team using the details on this page.

What happens after you've reported a dangerous structure

Our surveyor will visit the site to inspect the structure and to decide what action needs to be taken to remove any danger. This might be asking the building owner to make the building safe or employing a contractor to do the work. In extreme cases, it could mean demolishing the building itself.

We may put barriers around the structure to protect people's safety while we are making it safe. If we consider it an immediate danger and likely to collapse, our surveyor will arrange for a builder to remove or repair the structure as soon as possible, normally on the same day. We will recover our costs from the owner of the property.

If a building needs to be demolished, we will also make sure the work is carried out with the necessary safety precautions and in such a way that protects neighbouring properties.

In these cases, we work closely with the emergency services as well as other organisations, such as the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

 
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