What do I need to know?

If you intend to demolish the whole or part of a building you need to inform us (subject to certain exemptions). Legally you should not start any demolition work unless you have notified us.


Notification of a demolition is not required where:

  • The building is less than 1750 cubic feet, measured externally (approximately 50 cubic metres).
  • The demolition is of an internal part of any occupied building, which is intended to remain occupied
  • The building is a greenhouse, conservatory, shed or prefabricated garage, even if the building forms part of a larger building.
  • Certain agricultural building, unless it is near or touching another building that is not an agricultural building.
  • A demolition order under the Housing Act 1985 has been served.

Demolition notice

This notification must specify the building to which it relates and the area of demolition.

Notification can be provided by letter, fax or email, however, for your convenience most local authority building control offices have a demolition notice that you can complete.

When you notify us of a proposed demolition, you must also send a copy of the notification to the occupiers of any adjacent buildings, Southern Gas Networks and EDF Energy.

Counter notice

Once you have sent us notification that you intend to demolish a building, we will send you a counter notice setting out requirements on how the demolition is to be undertaken.

Copies of this counter notice will also be sent to:

  • The local gas supplier
  • The local electric supplier
  • The local water supplier
  • The Fire Safety Service
  • The Local Authority Planning Department
  • Any adjacent occupiers

Demolition requirements

These requirements could include:

  • To shore up any building adjacent to the building to which the notice relates.
  • To weatherproof any surfaces of an adjacent building that are exposed by the demolition.
  • To repair and make good any damage to an adjacent building caused by the demolition or by the negligent act or omission of any person engaged in it.
  • To remove material or rubbish resulting from the demolition and clearance of the site. All waste material must be disposed of to a suitable waste facility in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act Section 34 Duty of Care Regulations 1991.
  • To disconnect and seal, at such points as the local authority may reasonably require, any sewer or drain in or under the building.
  • To remove any such sewer or drain, and seal any sewer or drain with which the sewer or drain to be removed is connected.
  • To make arrangements with the relevant statutory undertakers for the disconnection of the supply of gas, electricity and water to the building.
  • To make such arrangements with regard to the burning of structures or materials on the sites as may be reasonably required:
    • If the building is or forms part of special premises, by the Health & safety Executive and the Fire Authority, and
    • In any other case, by the Fire Authority.
  • To remove all asbestos found in the buildings and to dispose of such asbestos in a safe and satisfactory manner.
  • To ensure noise from the site does not cause a nuisance.
  • To ensure that the site is left in a condition which is not or is not likely to become detrimental to the public.
  • To ensure that the site is effectively fenced and secured against entry at all times.
  • To provide a method statement of the demolition as to the extent and nature of protection of the public, removal of debris, correct filling of the basements and method of shoring/weather protection of adjacent properties.
  • Adequate and suitable provision in the form of water sprays should be used to reduce dust nuisance during demolition work.

Rights of appeal

The provisions of Sections 102 and 103 of the Building Act 1984, with respect to appeals against and the enforcement of notices requiring the execution of works, applies in relation to this notice. Any appeal must be made to the Magistrates' Court within twenty-one days from the date on which the notice is served to you.

Section 102 of the Building Act 1984 and Section 83(2) of the Building Act 1984 details the grounds upon which an appeal may be brought. Subject to such a right of appeal, if a person is required by a notice to execute works, fails to do so within the required time, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale. In addition, the Council may themselves execute the works and recover from the person in default the expenses they incur in doing so.

Planning permission

The Notice issued under Section 81 of the Building Act 1984 does not presume the granting of any Planning Permission or Conservation Area Consent under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. You should contact the Development Control Section within your local council if you are in any doubt as to the need for planning permission.

Highways Act 1980: Scaffolding and hoardings

Your attention is drawn to Sections 172 and 173 of the Act, which respectively require that, before work commences, a hoarding shall be erected to separate demolition works from the street and that the hoarding shall be securely erected.

If it proves necessary to obstruct the highway with the hoarding or scaffolding during the demolition operations; a licenses must be obtained from the Kent Highway Services before work commences. The licenses may also require special conditions to be agreed prior to the erection of the scaffolding/hoarding, please contact the Kent Highway Services on 01233 648 318 or Medway Highway Services on 01634 333 333 for further information.

Demolition guidance notes


Noise must not be allowed to cause a nuisance, or be prejudicial to health. Where noise is causing problems, and the best practicable means to reduce or avoid it altogether are not being taken, then the Council can, and will take action.

Plant and machinery used for demolition operations shall only be operated within the site between 08.00 and 18.00 hours on Mondays to Fridays and between 08.00 hours and 13.00 hours on Saturdays and at no time on Sundays and Bank Holidays, without prior agreement. Enquiries regarding noise issues should be directed to the Environmental Protection Section within your local council.

Burning of materials

In built up areas the safest and most certain way to avoid nuisance and committing offences is not to burn materials arising from the demolition. Demolition waste should be recycled or taken to a waste disposal facility.

It is an offence to emit dark smoke from any industrial or trade premises or land used in connection with a trade process. Demolition sites are included in the definition of premises and demolition is trade process.

The Council can take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to stop smoke from a bonfire causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties.

Enquiries regarding this nuisance should be directed to the Environmental Protection Section within your local council.


If the building being demolished includes any material containing asbestos, the Health and Safety Executive, International House, Dover Place, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1HU, should be informed at least 28 days before the commencement of the demolition. Any removal of asbestos shall be in accordance with the relevant legislation and subject to the direction of the Health and Safety Executive. If there is any doubt about whether or not material is asbestos or what sort of asbestos it is, the worst case must be assumed until verification is obtained.

These controls also apply to asbestos cement materials. Asbestos cement should not be cut, worked or broken and under no circumstances must asbestos cement be burned.

The disposal of asbestos must be to a site licensed by the Environment Agency to receive asbestos waste. Disposal shall be carried out in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Special Waste Regulations and the Environment Agency Standard Asbestos Disposal Conditions. Details are available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.


Adequate and suitable provision of water suppression should be used to reduce dust nuisance during demolition.

Only concrete crushing plant, which is authorised under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, should be used on site. Prior to the use of concrete crushing plant the operator shall notify the Environmental Protection Section within your local council.

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