Dangerous structures and public safety

Under the Building Act 1984 the local authority has the power to deal with buildings, structures or parts of buildings or structures that are considered to be dangerous. These powers have been delegated to the building control section.


All dangerous structures reported to building control or found by one of its officers are dealt with as a matter of priority.


If after an inspection to assess the situation, the building or structure is considered to be imminently dangerous all reasonable steps are taken to contact the owner and if found they are given the opportunity to have the danger removed themselves. If this is not possible or they cannot be found the local authority will do the work. This may consist of simply securing the area or partial or complete demolition.


If the local authority is to undertake the work it is empowered by the legislation to recover from the owner all reasonable costs incurred.


Another option available when the danger is not imminent is to obtain an order from a Magistrates Court that requires the owner to carry out all works necessary to remove the danger. The primary aim of the legislation is to maintain a safe environment.

 

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