Manchester City Council

Home renovation shut down as basement excavation threatens collapse

A refurbishment project in Longsight has been stopped by Manchester City Council’s Building Control after a new basement and roofing work was undertaken without permission.

The end-terrace property on Honor Street, Longsight was already well into the renovation works before a concerned resident contacted the Council.

On attending the site, building control officers found substantial excavations beneath the property to create a new basement carried out without planning approval or permission from Building Control.

So great were safety concerns at the property – including evidence the roofing was liable to collapse – that officers from the Health and Safety Executive were called immediately to the site and a prohibition notice was served, effectively stopping any further work on the property.

The owner of the property has been contacted by Manchester’s Building Control and it is likely that emergency stabilisation works will be required, and the excavated basement will need to be filled with concrete in the short-term – along with other necessary works to ensure the rest of the building is safe.

Manchester City Council’s Building Control team intervened at the property under its dangerous building powers.

Cllr Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment and skills, said: “The risk to life at this site was very real and we will have no hesitation to intervene with any building that is being refurbished in an unlawful and dangerous way.

“Building owners need to be mindful of the potential risks associated with inappropriate alterations without guidance from professionals such as structural engineers, surveyors and architects.

“The Council’s Building Control team is always willing to discuss the type of work property owners want to carry out. Because the owner of this property failed to do so, the costs to make the building safe are likely to be considerable.”

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