Dangerous structures

The main concern for Building Consultancy in all aspects of its work is public safety. This is nowhere more obvious or important than our work concerning dangerous buildings. Buildings can and do become dangerous for many reasons. The most usual of these are:

  • neglect combined with old age
  • fire
  • vehicle impact
  • badly carried out alterations

We provide a 24 hour on call service alongside South Derbyshire District Council in order to deal with any reported dangerous building. Usually, it is the police or fire brigade who contact us via the Council emergency contact numbers having already been contacted by the public, or they may already be at the scene of an accident or a fire. We always attend reported incidents or danger as soon as possible. There are three courses of action that may be taken in any particular case.

1.  If the reported problem, in our professional opinion, is not dangerous, then we will take no further action, or if repairs are necessary we will contact the owner to offer appropriate general advice.

2. If we consider that danger does exist, but not of an absolutely immediate nature, then we will contact the owner and serve a Dangerous Buildings Notice. This notice gives a set time by which to make the building or structure safe or to remove the danger.

3. If we find the situation to be so dangerous that matters cannot wait for the above notice procedures, and the owners cannot do something immediately, we have the powers to have immediate repairs or demolition carried out. In these circumstances, often the only practicable solution is to demolish either the whole or part of the structure, although in certain cases it may be possible to temporarily support the structure until it can be made safe.

In either case, the costs of all work will be reclaimed from the building owner.

Unfortunately accidents and fires do happen and in these cases we have to act to ensure public safety at all times. It is however unfortunate that in many cases the cause of the dangerous structure is neglect or badly executed building operations which with forethought and advice could have been avoided.

The Building Consultancy team continues to encourage effective maintenance of properties. However, should you be aware of any dangerous structure do not hesitate to contact the department.

If you become aware of a building or structure that you consider may be presenting a real danger to the public please contact us.

Please note: Structures that pose an imminent danger should be reported by telephone, either to Building Consultancy between 9am and 5pm (01283 508609 or 01283 508723) or otherwise through the out of hours emergency number (01283 517111).