The most frequent complaints we receive involve domestic noise such as music, raised voices, barking dogs and smoke from bonfires. We have a duty to decide whether a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or recur. This usually involves an initial investigation following any complaint of statutory nuisance from a local resident. Statutory nuisances are mainly defined in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and includes any of the following, when they are deemed to be either detrimental to health or a nuisance:

  • Smoke
  • Fumes or gases from a private dwelling
  • Dust, steam or smell from an industrial, trade or business premises
  • Any accumulation or deposit
  • The keeping of animals
  • Noise 
  • Artificial light
  • Insects from industrial, trade or business premises
  • Foul water in ponds, pools, ditches, gutters or watercourses

A statutory (or criminal) nuisance is something that is so offensive and so prolonged that it unreasonably, materially and significantly interferes with the use and enjoyment of a neighbouring property. The judgement of nuisance may take time, especially if the occurrence is unpredictable or infrequent.

Following detailed investigation of a complaint a decision will be made as to whether, in our opinion, a nuisance exists or is likely to occur or recur.  It will usually be necessary for us to witness the nuisance but to assist in our investigation you may be asked to keep a written Nuisance complaint record of events.pdf [pdf] 116KB of when, for how long, and how the nuisance affects you. If we are satisfied that there is a nuisance, an abatement notice will be served on the person responsible for the nuisance (or on the owner or occupier of the premises if the person responsible cannot be identified or found). Failure to comply with an abatement notice may result in prosecution and an unlimited fine.

To report any of the nuisances listed above, please either complete the report it eform or call 01903 737755.