If you plan to demolish a building or part of one you may need to get planning permission from your local council. It’s also a good idea to inform any neighbours that might be affected.
Getting planning permission
Tell your local council if you intend to knock down a building, or part of a building. Surveyors will visit your site to ensure your planned demolition complies with the Building Act 1984. You might also need approval under various Planning Acts too – your local council will advise you on this, but there are some general guidelines you can follow.
Greenhouses, conservatories, prefabricated garages and sheds do not require permission to be demolished. Usually, if the building to be demolished has a volume of less than 1750 cubic feet (49.56 cubic metres), then permission is not required to knock it down. However, if the building to be demolished is in a conservation area consent will be required under planning legislation.
As well as telling your local council, you should notify all service providers, such as suppliers of gas, electricity, and water, and anyone occupying an adjoining building.
Your Local Authority may charge you for any damage caused to pavements, kerbs or verges.
Telling your neighbours
Building or demolition works can cause problems for neighbours. You can reduce or avoid annoyance for neighbours by:
giving the council six weeks’ notice of demolition work – the council may impose some conditions about how the work should be done
sending a letter to the neighbours before work starts telling them about the work and what to expect. Give the neighbours a contact name and telephone number and keep them informed
dealing with any complaints made against your demolition site straight away
Keeping dust, noise and smoke to a minimum
Keep dust down by spraying with water when and where you can.
There is no legal requirement for construction sites to work specific hours. However, working outside the hours of 7.00am and 5.00pm is likely to result in complaints. Working on Sundays and bank holidays could have a similar effect. Its also recommended to start later on a Saturday and work just half a day.
Burning is not allowed on construction sites unless you have an Exemption Certificate from the Environment Agency, which lets you burn clean wood, paper and card. However, even with this certificate you may still be the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 and the Clean Airs Act, 1993 apply. For more information on these areas, contact your local council.
Find out about demolition work nuisance in your area
The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.
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