What can/will the council do?
Formal action by the council
We may be able to deal with noise or odour nuisances on your behalf using the Environmental Protection Act 1990, but only if satisfied that the noise or odour amounts to a statutory nuisance.
Factors which are taken into account when determining whether a statutory nuisance exists include the loudness of the noise or strength of the odour, frequency and duration. This is one reason why keeping a nuisance diary for at least 14 days is very important.
Once a nuisance diary is received a council officer may write a warning letter to the problem address and will advise you on further steps to help witness the nuisance if it continues.
What happens if the nuisance continues?
If you have reported noise and it continues to be unacceptable following written warnings, we may install noise monitoring equipment within your premises to obtain evidence to support the complaint.
For both noise and odour complaints we may be able to carry out personal visits to your home both during and outside of office hours through our out of hours service. If multiple complaints from residents are received officers are more likely to attend. On these visits our officers will be looking to witness the nuisance to take further formal action.
If, however, the nuisance occurs for a short duration, for example periods up to half an hour, it is most unlikely that an officer will arrive in time to witness it. In such cases it may be more difficult for us to help. Please also note that officers do not have sufficient time to visit on the off-chance that a nuisance will occur and will only agree to visit if the nuisance is already occurring.
Where a council officer does witnesses the noise or odour and is satisfied that a nuisance has occurred, the owner will be contacted, advised of the nuisance and a remedy requested. A notice may be served requiring abatement of the nuisance within a particular period.
Can the council prosecute?
If this formal procedure is not successful and further noise or odour is witnessed, the owner could be prosecuted in a court of law, but this is only done as a last resort. You will be required to sign a statement and attend the Magistrates Court as a witness. We would strongly advise keeping your diary updated throughout the complaint process to use this as a reference when giving evidence in court.
- Report asbestos
- Make a noise complaint
- Report rubbish accumulation on private land
- Report a blocked drain (below ground)
- Report Pollution - Bonfire Odour Lighting or Dust
Got a question about environmental health?01424 451079
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