Other statutory nuisance

A 'statutory nuisance' is something that is either prejudicial to health, for example capable of causing disease, or a nuisance in common law. It is something that affects someone's use and enjoyment of their home/property. It must occur regularly and continue for so long that it is unreasonable.

Issues covered by statutory nuisance law

There are many types of problems that can cause 'statutory nuisance', as defined in Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

  • Noise and vibration
  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Odour from commercial premises only
  • Insects from commercial premises only
  • Artificial light

Issues unlikely to be covered by statutory nuisance law         

  • Aircraft noise
  • Odour from domestic kitchens
  • Road traffic noise
  • Neighbours arguing
  • A baby crying occasionally
  • Dogs barking occasionally

Reporting a nuisance

Depending on the nuisance concerned, please report the issue to us using one of the buttons below.


For other nuisances, please contact the pollution team.

When reporting an issue we will need to know:

  • Your address
  • Your telephone number
  • Details of the problem – type of nuisance, frequency and duration
  • Address of person/premises/ vehicle causing the nuisance
  • Additional relevant information

You cannot investigate anonymous complaints because to investigate the complaint we need to know who is being affected by the nuisance. However, please be assured that your details will be kept strictly confidential, and when dealing with the request all complainant details will not be disclosed.

What happens next?

Your complaint will be logged and assigned to an investigating officer who will contact you. This is normally within 5 days of making the complaint.

What happens next will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. For example, if you haven't done so already, you may be asked to keep a log sheet or diary, which may be over a series of weeks before we can continue with our investigations.

Usually, at this stage the person who is being complained about will also be contacted and made aware of the allegations.

A continuing problem will be subject to further investigations. If the complaint involves noise, this can involve use of monitoring in the form of sound measuring and recording equipment, during the daytime and outside normal working hours.

If necessary, in cases where a competent officer witnesses a problem and legislation is breached, the officer will act in accordance with our Public Protection Enforcement Policy. This could involve, for example, service of notice, requiring works to be carried out or a prosecution dependant on the circumstances.

In certain circumstances where statutory action is not an option, mediation services can be used to help resolve the dispute.

What if the council is unable to help?

If you are affected by nuisance you can complain directly to the Magistrate Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This may be because you do not wish to involve the council or because the council has been unable to establish statutory nuisance. In such circumstances you will be notified of this option.

Civil action can be taken if it is demonstrated that the nuisance effects health, comfort or convenience. It can be expensive and when considered it is recommended that legal advice is sought.

Help leaflets

Fireworks (PDF)

Garden bonfires (PDF)

Light pollution (PDF)

Neighbour noise (PDF)

Noise nuisance and licensed premises (PDF)

Noise pollution (PDF)

Using wood and coal for home heating (PDF)

Controlling noise and other public nuisance (PDF)