Pollution complaints

Part three of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires us to take reasonable steps to investigate and, if appropriate, take formal action in the event of justified complaints of statutory nuisance.

A statutory nuisance can include nuisances caused by artificial light, insects, emissions of smoke, fumes or gases, dust, steam and smell.

The legislation does not allow us to deal with complaints of smells from domestic premises

What action do we take?

As a first step, we will send you diary sheets (pdf, 43kb) so you can record the details of the problem. These diary sheets can form part of our evidence if we need to take legal action.

After we receive the diary sheets from you, one of our qualified officers may arrange a visit to witness the problem. Alternatively, we may work out some other suitable form of monitoring.

If we are satisfied that there is a statutory nuisance we will serve an Abatement Notice on the person causing the problem. If we do not have enough evidence, or if we have not been able to witness the alleged nuisance, or if we do not consider that there is a statutory nuisance, then we can take no further action. However, you will normally be able to take private legal action through the Magistrate's Court.

If found guilty of an offence of this type, the maximum fine is £5,000 for domestic premises and £20,000 for commercial premises.

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