Demolition of buildings
Notification by the person who intends to carry out a demolition
Anyone who intends to demolish a building that is not exempt (see below for information about exemptions) should give notice to the council's Building Control Team before any demolition work starts. You can do this either by using the "Demolition notice form" which can be downloaded from the right of the page, or by letter. The notice must be in writing and must specify the building to be demolished.
A copy of the notice should also be sent to or given to the following:
- The occupiers of any building next to the building which is to be demolished
- Southern Gas Networks, SGN Conections, St Lawrence House, Station Approach, Horley, RH6 9HY
- Southern Electric, 1 Wood Stock Road, Yarnton, Kidlington, OX5 1LE
- Thames water Utilities Ltd. Developer Services(Waste) 3rd Floor West, Clearwater Court, Vastern Rd Reading, RG1 8DB
Notification by the council
When the council receives notification of intention to demolish a building, it can respond by serving a counter notice (a Section 81 notice), setting out conditions that must be complied with during the course of demolition.
Starting demolition work
Demolition work should only start after either:
- The council has served a counter notice on the person intending to carry out the demolition work
- A period of six weeks has expired since written notification of the intended demolition was given to the council
The council has powers to enable it to control aspects of the demolition of all buildings or structures within the district, except those that are exempt from such control.
Listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas
Any alteration of a listed building involving partial or complete demolition requires formal listed building consent. Unauthorised alteration is illegal and can result in prosecution. For information about how to apply for listed building consent please see our page on make a planning application, where you can find an application form and guidance notes on how to apply.
The substantial or complete demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area requires conservation area consent - for more information see our page on Conservation areas in the South/Vale. The Planning Service can advise you on whether your proposals need formal permission.
Health and safety
The Construction Design and Management Regulations apply to most demolition work. For advice on this legislation please our pages on Health and safety issues or visit the
Buildings which are exempt from demolition control include:
- Buildings having an external size of less than 50m3 (this volume is less than the average double garage)
- Extensions on a larger building that consists of an attached conservatory, shed or garage
- Buildings used solely as agricultural buildings
- Work in occupied buildings where it is intended that it should continue to be occupied
Last reviewed: 29 - 09 - 2015