The term 'dangerous structure' covers buildings or parts of buildings and also includes garden walls, fences or hoardings - any built structure that could be a danger to the public because of its condition.
Buildings or structures can become dangerous for a variety of reasons including age, vehicle impact, vandalism, fire or storm damage.
The Council has various statutory powers to deal with dangerous structures. Legislation describes them as powers rather than duties; they are therefore, of themselves, discretionary. The relevant Acts are:
- Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (Sections 47, 48, 54, 56 & 76)
- Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (Section 29)
- Building Act 1984 (Sections 76, 77, 78 & 79)
- Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Sections 215 & 226)
If a report of a dangerous structure is received a Council officer may, depending on the circumstances, be asked to attend the site to make an initial inspection of the property and evaluate what action, if any, is required to secure the structure. This may need to be done in conjunction with the emergency services as in some cases these areas are deemed as crime scenes.
However, it is the responsibility of the property owner to arrange for any necessary works to be carried out.
If you wish to report a Dangerous Structure, please telephone 01255 686968 or 01255 222022 out of office hours. A Minicom number is also available - 01255 475566.