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Demolishing Buildings

Anyone intending to carry out demolition work within the district is required to notify the Council’s Planning and Building Control Department to ascertain whether formal permission is required. You should also be aware of relevant environmental legislation which must be complied with.

Notification to Building Control

The Council has six weeks to respond with appropriate notices and consultation. This registration and notification process normally only takes a few working days.

You can contact us by telephone on 01727 819289 or by email:

Further information on Dangerous Structures, Building and Walls can be found here.

Notification to the Local Planning Authority

Planning Permission or ‘Prior Approval’ may also be required to demolish a building. This depends on a number of factors including the type and size of building and where it is located.

Specific permission is required before demolition can be carried out in the following cases:

Demolition in Conservation Areas Toggle accordion

Any demolition within a conservation area is more tightly controlled and will require an Application for planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area unless it meets certain criteria. Further details of this criteria can be found at:

Demolition of statutorily Listed Buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments Toggle accordion

It is a criminal offence to demolish a Listed Building without listed building consent. To find out about listed buildings visit Historic England website:

Pubs or other drinking establishments (Use Classes A4 or AA) Toggle accordion

An application for full planning permission is required to demolish pubs or other drinking establishments (including those with expanded food provision)

Further advice can be provided through the Council’s Preapplication Advice Service. The details of this service can be found at:

Environmental Compliance Matters

Construction Site Noise and Dust Pollution Toggle accordion

May 15 2020: Covid-19:
UPDATE on Permitted Working hours on Construction & Building Sites

Following advice from Central Government, changes are being made nationwide to construction and building site working hours.  These changes were introduced by the Government in an effort to get the economy moving again as the Covid-19 lockdown eases.

The changes in working hours on construction sites in residential areas are:

7:30am to 9:00pm Monday to Saturday (instead of 7:30am to 6:00pm), while in other non-residential areas, 24- hour working can be requested by the developer or builder to the Council’s planning department. 

Working restrictions on Sunday’s and Bank Holidays remain unchanged under the new guidance.  No construction or building works should take place on these days.

The St Albans City and District Council’s planning department cannot refuse applications for extensions to working hours, or to amend existing working hours permitted under a valid planning permission, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

The Council’s Environmental Health Officers will continue to investigate nuisance complaints and take appropriate action where necessary.

Builders will be expected to be sensitive to local concerns and reduce the impact of any work by, for example, keeping noise, dust and vibration to a minimum.

To read the Government Guidance follow the link:

Under section 61 of the Act contractors can apply for prior permission to work outside of the above hours. This proactive approach requires the assessment of the methods that will be used to undertake the work and the prediction of the likely noise levels at sensitive receptors.

Applicants are advised to contact us to discuss the proposed activity as early as possible to establish if a S61 application is recommended. 

We encourage early communication between developers and our Environmental Compliance Team. If prior consent is recommended a draft submission should be made at least six weeks before work is due to start. This allows for any necessary amendments before the 28 day period of consideration by the council stated in the legislation.

Dust Pollution Toggle accordion

In addition to complaints about noise and vibration, complaints about dust are also dealt with by officers from the Environmental Compliance Team. 

If the dust problem is 'happening now', officers will visit as soon as possible after the complaint has been logged to assess the nuisance and will respond to complaints as soon as possible. 

If the inspection shows that the dust problem is interfering with the enjoyment of the customer's home, the building workers or contractors may be advised to take preventive measures to remedy the problem.

They will normally be required to provide adequate screening and damping down during all demolition activities, sandblasting, clearance work, breaking up of existing ground surfaces and other site preparation activities.    

If the problem persists and no effort is made to eliminate or reduce it, then our pollution control officers would have a duty to take enforcement action. 

Waste Toggle accordion

Developers and their contractors may apply at the planning stage to burn demolition waste on site but only where specific issues such as dry rot or infested wood apply. The burning of commercial or trade waste, including demolition waste is not permitted on any site, without permission from the Environmental Agency.

Businesses have a legal obligation to dispose of waste in a proper manner and may be prosecuted for failing to do so.

The Council will also investigate reports of fly tipping on private or public land within its area of responsibility.

Residents with a ‘My St Albans’ account can report fly tips via the portal at

Residents or businesses who do not have an account can report fly tips at 

Fly tips can also be reported during normal office hours to the council Waste Management Team on 01727 866100

Asbestos Toggle accordion

The removal, transfer and disposal of asbestos is strictly controlled and must only be undertaken by licensed contractors. Regulations are enforced by the HSE who have published detailed guidance for property owners, developers and their contractors.

The Council will investigate reports of asbestos that has been fly tipped on private or public land within its area of responsibility. Asbestos fly tip reports can be made to Reports outside of the council’s area of responsibility can be made via

Health and Safety Toggle accordion

The Council do not enforce Health and Safety of a construction/demolition site, this is enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE):