Demolition of buildings

Giving notice to the Council

The Building Act of 7 July 1994 requires that the Local Authority is advised in writing of any intended demolition.

This applies to any demolition of the whole or part of a building. There are very limited exceptions. You may obtain advice on demolition work by contacting Building Control.

It is an offence for a person to start demolition works without giving six weeks notice prior to commencement and should a person commence demolition they are liable to prosecution.

Written notice to the Local Authority must specify the building, details of the works of demolition and the person undertaking the work.  A form for this purpose can be obtained from the Building Control Team or downloaded from this page.

Please note: To avoid any complications with duplicate roads in the Borough, a site location plan is required highlighting the exact location of the property or properties to be demolished. We will not be able to process the application until this is received.

Demolition Charge

With effect from 1 April 2016 a fee of £227 is payable with the submission of the Demolition Notice. This payment can by made:

  • by credit/debit card over the phone: call 020 8891 7117.
  • by cheque: made payable to the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
  • in cash: payments can be made at Reception, Ground Floor, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ.

Please note

To avoid any complications with duplicate roads in the Borough, a site location plan is required highlighting the exact location of the property/ies to be demolished. We will not be able to process the application until this is received.

Serving notice

Anyone who intends to demolish a building or a part of a building, whether the owner or the demolition contractor, must serve the above mentioned notice on this Council's Building Control Department informing of their intentions before demolition work starts. Demolition may not commence until the Council has given permission or a period of six weeks has elapsed.

If the building is in a conservation area or is listed as being of architectural or historic interest, Listed Building Consent will also be required.

The only exemptions for serving a demolition notice are for buildings not requiring Listed Building Consent as follows:

  • The demolition of an internal part of a building if the building continues to be occupied.
  • Buildings having an external size of less than 50m3 (this volume is less than the size of an average double garage).
  • Extensions on a larger building that consists of a domestic greenhouse, conservatory, shed or pre-fabricated garage.

Other parties to be notified

The owner or demolition contractor must also provide the following with a copy of the notice which they serve on the Council.

  • The owners of any building adjacent to the building to be demolished.
  • Gas Authority
  • Electricity Authority
  • Water Authority

What will the Council do?

The Building Control Surveyors will always visit the site concerned. They will also ensure that the appropriate copies of notice have been given to those mentioned above.

The Highways section of the Council is consulted to ensure that safe access is possible to the site, and if deemed necessary the Fire Brigade and the Health and Safety Executive are also consulted.

When giving approval for the demolition to take place the Council will require the owner/contractor to adhere to certain conditions, including:-

  • Adequate shoring, repair and weather proofing of adjacent buildings.
  • Removal of material or rubbish and disconnection, removal or sealing of drainage.
  • The disconnection of Gas, Electricity and water supplies.
  • The burning of materials on site in a controlled manner.

The Council gives approval by serving a counter notice on the person intending to carry out the demolition work, under Section 81 of the Building Act 1984; or

A period of six weeks has expired since written notification of the intended demolition was given to the Council.

Asbestos materials

If during demolition works, materials of asbestos are found, the Health and Safety Executive should be notified immediately, and their requirements for safe removal and disposal followed by the demolition contractor.

Listed building consent

Any alteration of a listed building involving part or partial demolition requires formal Listed Building Consent. Unauthorised alteration is illegal and can result in prosecution.

The substantial or complete demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area requires planning permission. We can advise you as to whether this consent is required.

The sections of the Act relating to the demolition of buildings can be viewed from the side menu on this page.

Protected species - bats

Please see our page on bats and the demolition of buildings for essential information and documents.

Updated: 4 April 2016