The Council controls dangerous structures and buildings under Sections 77 and 78 of the Building Act 1984.
Where a building is in such a condition that it may place people in danger, the District Council have legal powers to investigate, and to require that it be made safe. We respond to all reports of dangerous buildings, walls and structures within the Cannock Chase District on a 24 hour 365 day a year basis.
If the building or structure poses a potential danger to the safety of people, we take the appropriate action to remove the danger. We have legal powers to require the owners of buildings or structures to remedy the defects or we direct our contractors to carry out works to make the building or structure safe. In addition, we provide advice on the structural condition of buildings during fire fighting to the Fire Brigade, or to the Police in the case of vehicular damage.
In order to be considered dangerous, a building must actually pose a threat of causing harm to a person. Buildings which are simply dilapidated or run down would not necessarily therefore be considered dangerous, and minor items (damaged timber fencing panels for example) are also unlikely to qualify.
Where we investigate a report of a dangerous structure, and agree that action is required, this will usually take one of two forms:
If the building is so dangerous that we consider immediate action necessary, we will attempt to give the owner the opportunity to remove the danger. If this cannot be done then we will employ contractors to make it safe straight away. In many cases this will take the form of fencing-off the affected area to allow remedial work to be carried out later by the owner. (Section 77 of the Building Act 1984.)
Where the building is considered dangerous - but not immediately so, we will contact the owner and require that the work be made safe within a reasonable period of time. If the owner fails to do so, we can apply to a Magistrates Court for an order allowing us to do so instead. (Section 78 of the Building Act 1984.)
Note that in both the above cases we can only require the minimum amount of work necessary to make the building safe, and will attempt to recover any costs we incur in doing so from the building owner.
If you notice a building with the Cannock Chase District which you think may be dangerous, please contact us on 01543 462621 and we will arrange for it to be inspected.
Last Updated: 21/09/2015