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The majority of people are aware that you need planning consent to build new sheds, houses and roads but what a lot of people don’t realise is that you often need consent to take them down!
The Building Act 1984 contains provisions that enables a County Council to control demolition works for the protection of public safety, ensuring adjoining premises are not adversely affected and to check that species such as bats and newts will not be disturbed.
The Act places an obligation on anyone intending to demolish a building to give notice to their relevant local authority and send copies of the notice to the utility services (gas, water and electricity) and also to adjoining owners and/or occupiers. Depending on the size of the demolition, a building control officer may need to carry out a site survey to determine if any conditions will be necessary to control the demolition process, remedial works and the treatment of the site going forward.
The 2007 amendments to the Construction (Design) Management Regulations brought demolition under its scope. In cases where demolition will take longer than 30 days or 500 man hours it becomes notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive.
There are however some exceptions to the rule and where a building is less than 50 cubic metres this can be demolished without consent. Care must be taken however to ensure that all services are safely disconnected and that there are no protected species in the vicinity, such as bats. Disturbing bats is still an offence, with or without the need for a demolition notice.
The County Council have up to six weeks to respond to any request for demolition and with the possibly of being caught under the CDM Regulations and roosting bats, there is a need for long term planning.
It should be remembered however, that buildings which are listed or within the curtilage of a listed building, cannot be demolished without listed building consent, regardless of size or type of structure. It is imperative that open communication is made with the local council’s conservation officers before any demolition is decided upon.
For more information please contact Matt Trewartha tel: 0191 385 1737