Enforcement of nuisances
Under Part 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 the council is required to investigate and, if necessary, to take formal action, in the event of justified complaints of statutory nuisance.
A statutory nuisance must originate in a locatable premises and can include noise, dust, smoke, fumes or gases, odours and nuisances caused by animals and insects.
Typical of complaints of this type are noisy neighbours and industrial sites, smoke and ash from garden or commercial bonfires, dust from building and demolition sites and cooking smells from catering establishments. Smells arising from domestic premises are not covered by this legislation.
If the council is satisfied that a complaint of statutory nuisance is justified, an abatement notice will be served upon the person responsible, occupier or owner of the premises. This will require that the nuisance should be stopped. Failure to comply with an abatement notice is an offence and legal proceedings may result. If found guilty of an offence of this type, a fine of a maximum £5,000 for domestic premises and £20,000 for commercial premises may be imposed, together with a daily penalty of £500 maximum for as long as the nuisance continues.
An additional enforcement option is available under the Noise Act 1996 which provides for the control of noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am from domestic and licensed premises. If noise exceeds a permitted level, a fixed penalty notice can be served.