What is a demolition permit?

13th January 2022 by ProDEM

Have you been told that you need permission before you can tear down a building or structure? If so, you may be wondering “What is a demolition permit?” Read on to find out more about what this official document is and why you need one.

What exactly is a demolition permit?

A demolition permit allows you to legally demolish a structure. Whether you’ll need a permit before you can begin demolition work depends on a number of factors. These include whether a building is in either England or Wales, whether you want to demolish the whole or portion of the building, the size of the building, if it’s a Listed Building or situated within a Conservation Area, and the environmental impact of the demolition. There’s a lot to consider before you demolish a building to ensure you’re complying with legislation. 

Why is a demolition permit required?

Now that you know what is a demolition permit, you may be wondering why you need one. There are several reasons why a demolition permit is necessary. Most important is safety. The government wants to ensure that demolition is carried out by experienced and competent professionals who adhere to all the relevant safety precautions. 

Listed buildings and conservation areas

When demolishing any listed building or building located within the curtilage of a listed building, Listed Building Consent will be necessary. Unlisted buildings within Conservation Areas may need permission depending on if they are in England or Wales. In Wales, permission isn’t required to tear down buildings in Conservation Areas. Although, Conservation Area Consent is necessary if a building’s volume exceeds 115m.  

In England, you need planning permission when demolishing buildings of any size within Conservation Areas. Conservation Area Consent no longer exists in England.

Small buildings

Demolition Contractors in Nottingham

Other than those that are listed or situated in conservation areas, you won’t need planning permission to demolish small buildings in England or Wales. As long as the external volume of the building doesn’t exceed 50m, you can demolish it without getting a permit. 

Other buildings – full demolitions 

In both England and Wales, there are permitted development rights to demolish buildings without planning permission in most cases. Although, you’ll still need to make an application to the local authority so that they can approve the method of demolition. 

However, there are some exceptions to consider. In Wales, you will need planning permission if a building is unsafe or unhabitable due to either neglect or other deliberate action by someone with an interest in the site. You’ll need to make the building safe by carrying out temporary repairs, 

In England, planning permission is necessary for more situations. As in Wales, you’ll need permission if the building is unsafe or uninhabitable due to the actions of someone with interest in the site and you can make it safe through temporary repairs. Additionally, it will be necessary if the building is a pub that’s an ‘Asset of Community Value’.

If a whole building needs demolishing quickly due to health and safety reasons, you may not be able to comply with the prior approval process. If this is the case, you’ll need to justify this in writing to your local authority as soon as you can. 

Partial demolitions 

What is a demolition permit?

The points mentioned above only concern full demolitions. If you want to demolish a part of a building, you’ll need to obtain planning permission. This is because it is a structural alteration instead.

What other consents do I need?

Whilst planning permission isn’t always necessary to demolish a building, you may require other consents. As well as Listed Building Consent, you may also need Buildings Regulations Approvals and Party Wall Act Notices. In addition, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may also need carrying out if demolition work will impact the environment significantly. If you need a full EIA, permitted development rights can’t be relied upon. In this case, planning permission would be necessary for the demolition.

What happens if I don’t get permission?

If you demolish a building without getting permission, you could receive an enforcement notice from your local authority. You may have to rebuild it, and in the worst-case scenario, you could even face criminal prosecution. If you’re not sure if you need permission to demolish a building, it’s best to get professional advice. The consequences of tearing down a building without consent can be severe. You should get advice from your local planning authority to discover what is required for the demolition before any work begins to avoid the risk of legal action being brought against you.

Choose ProDEM for demolition in Nottingham or Leicester 

As the leading demolition contractors in Nottingham and Leicester, you can rely on ProDEM to carry out demolition work safely and legally. We can advise on getting planning permission for your project, making sure you’re complying with the law at all times. At ProDEM, we’ve been demolishing buildings and structures of all types and sizes for over 60 years, giving us a huge amount of skill, knowledge and expertise in this area.

Contact us

“What is a demolition permit?” is one of the most common questions we get asked here at ProDEM. Fortunately, we can offer expert advice on obtaining permission to demolish a building or structure. We’re the leading demolition contractors in Nottingham and Leicester, serving many domestic and commercial customers throughout the region. To talk to one of our experienced team, call us on 0115 775 0307 or 0116 430 0273. You can also send us a message through the website and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We can answer all your questions and provide you with a competitive quote for the demolition work you require.