The Environmental Protection Team deal with many complaints about odours arising from a variety of sources, commonly including:
The Environmental Protection Team can enforce nuisance legislation if the odour is intrusive or excessive. However, we have to bear in mind the defence of Best Practical Means (BPM). This means if it can be shown that the odour is normal for the process and all reasonable steps are being taken to control odour, then formal action is unlikely to succeed. The simple tips below may help reduce the likelihood of causing a nuisance:
If you have a complaint, it is best to discuss it initially with the person responsible; they may not realise they are causing a problem. Try to be reasonable, otherwise your discussions are likely to end in further argument. Explain the details of your complaint and try to agree on a reasonable solution or compromise.
We have to assess whether the odour experienced is causing a Statutory Nuisance (under the Environmental Protection Act 1990). This has to be judged on a case by case basis and essentially we consider whether the impacts are reasonable with reference to:
We will follow our usual investigative procedure and and write to the person responsible to advise that there has been a complaint and that we may carry out some monitoring. This often helps but just in case we also ask the complainant to start keeping odour records. If there is a typical pattern to the odour, we may carry out planned visits to assess the odour.
The odour nuisance record sheets are very important and the Council will not take any further action unless it has received completed nuisance record sheets from you. If the records are not returned without a reasonable explanation within 28 days the complaint will be closed.
Further information on the investigation process is available in the leaflet or factsheet below or on our What is a Statutory Nuisance? page.
How to complain
If you wish to complain you can phone us on the number below, or online here: Report a nuisance - noise or other pollution