Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires us to take reasonable steps to investigate and, if appropriate, to take formal action in the event of justified complaints of statutory nuisance.
Under the remit of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, this authority investigates complaints of nuisances arising from the following sources:
Once a complaint has been received it is logged on our complaints record system. Our target is to respond to all complaints within 3 working days. Complainants have to supply their name, address and contact telephone number, together with the nature of their complaint. Complainants may also have to assist the investigating officer in the collection of any evidence that is required. Often complainants will be asked to keep evidence sheets detailing the disturbances, and using the information supplied by the customer the Officer will decide what further action, if any, is required.
In some cases, specialist monitoring equipment may be required to measure disturbances.
A Statutory Nuisance in this context can include emissions of smoke, fumes or gases, dust, steam and smell. The emissions must arise from premises and must materially affect the use or enjoyment of other premises.
Typical of complaints of this type are smoke and ash from garden bonfires, smoking chimneys, dust from building and demolition activity and cooking smells from restaurants. The legislation does not allow us to deal with complaints of smells arising from domestic premises.
If 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 (as appropriate) requiring that the nuisance be abated. Failure to comply with an Abatement Notice is an offence and legal proceedings may result. If found guilty of an offence of this type then the maximum penalty is graded on the scale at 'Level 5' on domestic premises and £ 20,000 on commercial premises.