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Tel: 01372 732000
 07950 080202

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Town Hall
The Parade
KT18 5BY


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What do I do if I see a dangerous building or structure in the Borough?

The Council's Building Control unit is responsible for managing any dangerous structures that may occur within the Borough, and is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year.

If you suspect that a structure is dangerous, please report it to us by telephoning 01372 732000 or emailing us at

In an emergency outside normal office hours a callout service is provided on 01372 732000.
When an alleged dangerous structure is reported, we will make an inspection and will take immediate action if we believe the structure is dangerous or will imminently become dangerous . Our responsibility is to ensure the safety of the public and/or occupants of a building and any immediate action will be limited to making safe. Property owners would be liable for any costs incurred.

Local Authority obligations to take action

There are two sections that are directly relevant for dealing with Dangerous Structures under the Building Act 1984. These are Section 77 and Section 78.

Section 78
Where a building or structure is considered to be immediately dangerous, we must take action under Section 78 of the Building Act 1984 to make it safe. Before removing the danger we will, if reasonably practicable, give notice of our intention to the owner and occupier of the building or premises.

If we are unable to contact the owner or if they fail to respond, we may take any or all of the following actions to remedy the situation by making safe :

  • exclude people from within or around the structure
  • prop or shore the structure
  • demolish the structure
  • make temporary repairs.

The costs for any remedial works will be charged to the owner of the building/structure.

Section 77
This section deals with dangerous buildings or structures that are not immediately dangerous but may become dangerous and can include overloading conditions.

The section allows us to apply to a Magistrates’ Court for an order requiring the owner, within a specified time, to:

  • carry out the necessary work on the building to make it safe, including propping or shoring the structure and/or making temporary repairs
  • demolish the building or structure or the part of the structure that is not safe, including removing the debris from the site.

The Court may also make an order restricting the use of the building where the danger arises from its overloading.

Where the work is not carried out within the specified time, we are entitled to execute the work and recover the reasonable costs involved. As the person would also be in default of a Court order, we may consider taking further action through the Magistrates’ Court to proceed for a fine up to level 1 on the standard scale upon conviction.

Working premises

If the presumed danger if is in a place of work we will inform and work closely with the Health & Safety Executive, who operate under their own legislation, and who cover matters affecting working premises.

Health & Safety Executive
3 East Grinstead House
London Road
East Grinstead
West Sussex
Tel: 01342 334200

Further Information

Telephone: 01372 732000
email at

page updated: Thursday, 17 September 2015 © Epsom & Ewell Borough Council 2016