Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Dangerous Structures

Any Building or Structure that poses an imminent risk to the general public, can be considered a Dangerous Structure.

Dangerous Structures may include:

  • Any Building either public or private.
  • Any part of a Building such as damaged chimneys, loose tiles, signage or hoarding.
  • Any boundary or garden walls that are either public or privately owned or any walls in public areas such as those adjacent to public footpaths, roads or open spaces.

Buildings can become dangerous due to: 

​Type of Damage ​Cause of damage
​Damage following an event
  • Vehicle impact
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Severe weather damage
​Gradual damage over a period of time
  • Old age
  • Neglect
  • Vandalism
  • Ground subsidence
  • Annual weathering

Reporting a Dangerous Structure

If you think a building is dangerous, you should report it to Building Control immediately. Please Contact the Building Control Team.

Once the details have been logged, a Building Control Surveyor will visit the site to assess the situation and determine the extent of the danger.

You will need to provide information about the location of the building and why you think it is dangerous.

You will also be required to give your name and contact details so that the Surveyor can contact you should they need to clarify any of the details following the site visit.

Swindon Borough Council has a 24 hour call out system in place for dealing with Dangerous Structures. This is available 365 days of the year. Under normal circumstances a Building Control Surveyor will visit the site within two hours of your call to examine the nature and extent of the danger.

Responsibilities of the Council 

Swindon Borough Council is required to take appropriate action to remove or alleviate any Dangerous Structures under The Building Act 1984.

If a building or structure is considered dangerous the Council will require the owner of the structure to make it safe. Under Section 77 of The Building Act 1984 the owner will be given a formal request to make the structure safe. The structure will need to be made safe within a specified time period and will involve either carrying out adequate repair works to the structure or demolishing the section that is considered dangerous. At this point the Surveyor will revisit the site to ensure the structure is considered no longer a danger.

If the structure is considered immediately dangerous and is likely to be of an imminent danger to the General Public the owner will be requested to take immediate steps to make the structure safe. The Surveyor will locate and contact the owner and serve a Section 78 notice. The owner will normally be given the option to carry out immediate remedial works to rectify the situation.

If the remedial work required is of a minor nature the owner may decide to carry out the work themselves or alternatively engage a building contractor to carry out the work at their own expense.

If the owner cannot arrange for immediate steps to be taken in order to rectify the danger, the Surveyor will make immediate arrangements for the danger to be removed. The costs associated with any such measures for this service will be recovered from the owner of the property by Swindon Borough Council.

Charges for this service are not set by Swindon Borough Council and are likely to be considerably higher than the charges from the owners own privately appointed contractor.

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