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Demolitions and Dangerous Structures

Orkney Islands Council has a responsibility to deal with buildings which have become dangerous due to old age, deterioration or settlement, or by more dramatic causes. Building Standards provide a service for dealing with these dangerous buildings and structures.

These dangers usually fall into one of two categories, imminently or immediately dangerous. With buildings or structures which present an imminent danger to the public, normally all that is required is contact from the Local Authority to the owner requesting the structure be made safe within a given period of time. If this does not succeed, powers provided by the Building Scotland Act allow court action to be implemented. Ultimately, the Local Authority can remove the danger and recover reasonable costs incurred from the owner.

Where buildings or structures are immediately dangerous and require urgent attention powers are available to take direct action to remove the danger. Again, costs are recoverable but every possible effort is made to contact the owner before any action is taken.

Sections 28 - 30 of the Building Scotland Act 2003 provides enforcement powers to Local Authorities to ensure that buildings are maintained in a safe condition.

Control and Advice

Building Warrants for demolition, while nominally valid for three years, are usually granted subject to time limits, i.e. a time period from the commencement of the demolition to the completion of works. This period is set by the Council in agreement with the Applicant.

The information required on the existing building, and on the method of demolition, is intended for the purpose of allowing the Council to judge what the appropriate provision of protective works are to ensure the safety of the general public. Other details of any Method Statement prepared to meet Health and Safety at Work Legislation may be submitted. For Building Warrant approval sufficient information is needed to ensure the requirements set in the Building Regulations are met.

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