A dangerous place under sanitary services legislation means any excavation, quarry pit, pond, stream, dam, dump, shaft or land that is in the opinion of the sanitary authority dangerous or likely to be dangerous to any person. A dangerous structure is any building, wall or structure of a kind or part of anything attached to a building, wall or other structure that is in the opinion of the local authority, dangerous to any person or property.
The local authority has power to carry out works as is required to prevent the place from being dangerous. Before carrying out the works, it must give notice to the owner concerned. It must specify the works which the sanitary authority believes are necessary to prevent it from being dangerous and provide an estimate of the cost of works.
An owner served may apply within 21 days to the District Court to an annul the order The court may annul or confirm the order. It may amend the order.
The local authority has power to serve a notice on the owner of a dangerous structure requiring works to be done within the period specified. This may include demolition and clearing.
If the authority is of the opinion that it is necessary to do the works in the interest of safety it may carry out the works as are necessary to prevent the structure from being dangerous. It may enter the premises for the purpose of doing the works. It must give notice to the owner or occupier stating that it proposes to do the works concerned.
It is an offence to fail to comply with the notices or order. It is subject to a maximum penalty of €1,270 on conviction summarily. Where a person fails to comply with the notice, the court may order the person to carry out the works. It may authorise the authority to do the works. It may prohibit the use of a structure until the works are done. Failure to comply with the order is an offence subject to a fine of up to €1,270 on conviction.
Where the authority is of the view that it is necessary in the interest of safety, it may require the occupier or any person in the dangerous structure or its curtilage to vacate the structure or its curtilage or to remove his property from it.
If the person does not comply, the District Court may in an application by the local authority, direct the person to comply. Failure to comply is an offence. The officers of the authority have power to enter the structure and remove the person and his property if necessary.
Ownership & CPO
The local authority may require by agreement or compulsorily any dangerous place or place which it deems to be dangerous place by reason of the authority having carried out works. There is a special procedure for a compulsory acquisition. Notice must be given to all owners and occupiers. They may object to the notice in which event the matter may not proceed without the consent of the Minister.
The local authority is entitled to ascertain the ownership for the dangerous structure or place by service of a notice on the occupier. The occupier must disclose the nature of his interest together with details of any party he knows to have an interest. Failure to comply is an offence.
A person appointed by the Department or by the local authority may enter land for the purpose of obtaining information which the Department or authority may require for the purpose of the above legislation.
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