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Statutory nuisance

You can now register complaints or enquires for the Environmental Protection team by visiting our online portal.

When living in a community, everyone has to expect a reasonable level of interference from those who live around them.

Where you feel that interference has become unreasonable, have you thought about approaching the person causing the nuisance and explaining politely that you are being affected?

You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware that they are causing a problem, and this may see the issue stop. Most people will be glad to do what they can to reduce their impact on you and this may support positive relationships now and in the future.

In cases where you might feel threatened, or where previous personal approaches have not worked, please report the issue online. This will allow capture of all relevant information the team will need to look further into your complaint.

During an investigation, it may be necessary for us to share information with professional third parties.

For example, colleagues working in other services at the council, Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Housing Associations, the Police, other government organisations etc.

Where we need to share information which is of a sensitive nature, we will only do this with your explicit consent or where we are required to do so by law.

Please be aware that if you do not allow us to share information with relevant third parties, then this may delay or stop progress of the investigation.

If an investigation into a complaint, finds that statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or recur, the Local Authority has to serve an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Failure to comply with the notice is a criminal offence and the person responsible could be prosecuted in court.

If the case were to go to court, you would likely be asked to provide a witness statement regarding your complaint and (in very rare cases) provide evidence in court as a witness. Written records provide (diary sheets and/or Noise app entries) may be presented in court. 

Please be aware that if you do not want to give evidence/witness statements, then this may delay or stop progress of the investigation.

As part of the investigation process, you will be required to complete a record of disturbance in the form of Noise App recordings and/or diary sheets.

The detail contained within the diary sheets/noise app recordings allow the council to see how regularly the disturbance occurs, how long the disturbance lasts, the record also gives details of how the issue is affecting the use and enjoyment of your property.

The detail allows us to see if there is a pattern and will assist us in planning future investigative work should it be needed. For example, undertaking monitoring of the issue at times indicated by the information that has been provided.

When you have sent your evidence to us, please continue to log any further disturbances for as long as the case remains open. If the case were to progress to formal action, diary sheets and noise app recordings may be relied on as evidence in court to demonstrate disturbance suffered. Therefore, they must be accurate and detailed.

If you do not complete diary sheets or noise app recordings, it is unlikely that further action will be able to be taken.

If you have any problems understanding how to complete diary sheets or require adaptations to support you to provide a record of disturbance, please make the team aware at the time of reporting your issue.

Download blank diary sheets.

If you feel you are still being disturbed by a neighbour to the level that it impacts your use and enjoyment of your property following council investigation, you may wish to take your own legal action. This can also be done if you would rather not have the Council investigate your complaint.

Download our useful guidance for taking your own private action through the Magistrates Courts.

Last updated: 25/04/2023 09:14

  1. Introduction
  2. What you need to know before reporting
  3. Contact