Pollution - Statutory Nuisance
There are three types of nuisance: statutory nuisance where a
particular nuisance has been made so by statute and public and
private nuisance which are within Common Law.
Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), as
amended by the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 and the Clean
Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, contains the main
legislation on statutory nuisance and enables local authorities and
individuals to take action to secure the abatement of a statutory
What is a Nuisance?
Section 79 of the EPA, as amended, defines the following
Nuisance Section Points
||any premises in such a state
as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance (for example dirty
||smoke emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health
or a nuisance (for example garden bonfires);
|fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to
health or a nuisance (from private dwellings only)
(for example from a boiler);
|any dust, steam, smell or effluvia arising on industrial, trade
or business premises and being prejudicial to health or
||any accumulation or deposit which is prejudicial to health or a
nuisance (for example food waste left in bin bags);
||any animal kept in such a place or manner as to be prejudicial
to health or a nuisance;
||any insects emenating from relevant industrial, trade or
business premises being prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
||artificial light emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial
to health or a nuisance;
||noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health
or a nuisance;
|noise that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance and is
emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or
equipment in a street (or in Scotland, road);
||any other matter declared by any enactment to be a statutory
Nuisance takes into account the frequency of occurrence,
volume of a noise, timing, locality and duration of an
event as well as the motive and sensitivity of the
Certain exemptions apply.
Action for dark or black smoke emissions can be taken under the
Clean Air Act
1993 in certain instances (for example dark smoke from chimneys
or bonfires on industrial premises) and cannot therefore be
dealt with as a statutory nuisance under the EPA.
There are no smoke control areas in South Lakeland.
The Highways (Amendment) Act 1986 makes it an offence for
smoke from a fire to injure, interrupt or endanger anyone
using a highway. This is enforced by the Police.
For low flying jets, contact the RAF Liaison Officer at
Statutory nuisance legislation cannot be used to take action
against land which is in a contaminated state (see Contaminated
Local authorities also have a duty to inspect their areas from
time to time to detect whether a nuisance exists or is likely to
occur or recur (s.79(1) of EPA). The Environmental Protection
Group also has a duty to investigate all complaints of nuisance and
take such steps as are reasonably practicable to investigate any
complaint of statutory nuisance from a person living in its area.
However, we would always recommend the complainant
talks to the person causing the problem first to try to
resolve the situation amicably.
If you are experiencing problems and would like advice, or
wish to make a complaint, please contact the Group
. We have a target to
respond to complaints within 10 working days, but we will always
respond as soon as possible.
The Environmental Protection Group is a consultee for any
which may have the potential to cause nuisance, or
may be subjected to nuisance should the development go
ahead. This may include new commercial kitchen
extraction systems, houses to be built next to industrial sites or
farms, or applications for new businesses or industries. It
is recommended that you speak to us prior to submitting a planning
application in order to discuss issues. In this way all the
required information can be submitted with the application, saving
on delays caused by having to request it later. A
decision will be made on this information as to whether the
development is suitable. Conditions may be requested,
should permission be granted, in order to prevent nuisance
being caused. Click here for a leaflet giving advice on the
information required to be submitted with an application
for a ventilation system
Similarly, the Group is consulted on Licensing
applications for pubs and clubs, outdoor events and other public
entertainment. Conditions will be requested, if
required, in order to prevent noise nuisance being caused by the
event or operation of the premises.
How to Report Pollution
In addition to telephone and written complaints, see contact details, you can report pollution
online using our
Feedback and Report It Form.