Building Control enforces legislation relating to dangerous buildings and the demolition of buildings. Powers to deal with dangerous and derelict buildings derive from the Building Act 1984, these powers have evolved from the earliest public health legislation that was first enacted in the nineteenth century. There are three main powers:
- Where buildings are dangerous, an application is made to the Magistrate's Court for an order to carry out works to render the building safe.
- Where there is imminent danger, the local authority may take immediate steps to remove the danger.
- If a building is derelict and seriously detrimental to the amenities of the neighbourhood, powers are available to require the owner to refurbish or demolish the premises.
The majority of routine work on dangerous and derelict buildings derives from day to day reports and complaints from the general public. Other sources include reports direct from Councillors, the Police, Fire Service and other City Council departments.
A building that is reported as dangerous will be inspected the same day or within an hour if it is an emergency, by a surveyor on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Depending on how serious it is the surveyor may deal with it in a number of different ways, i.e. take immediate action to make the building safe for the protection of public safety, this may involve closing roads or undertaking urgent demolition works. Alternatively, if it is not so serious the Council may apply to the Magistrates' Court for an order requiring the owner to make the building safe.
Responsibilities of the division also include the supervision of private demolitions under the provisions of sections 80 and 81 of the Building Act, to ensure that buildings are demolished in a safe manner thus preventing any danger to the public during the course of the work. Building Control is playing a proactive role in dealing with dereliction in support of the Councils corporate initiative to improve the environment. Formal and informal action is taken against building owners to persuade them to mitigate the negative impact that derelict buildings have on neighbourhoods. Joint strategies are developed across council departments to improve the effectiveness with which these problems are dealt with.
If you wish to report a dangerous building or structure, please telephone 0161 234 4333 during office hours. Outside normal office hours, a dangerous building or structure that presents a serious and immediate threat to public safety should be reported to the police by dialling 999.