Nuisance PollutionFrom time to time, we all get affected by nuisance pollution, but what exactly is it and what can we do about it?

What Is Nuisance Pollution?

Quite simply, nuisance pollution is anything that we feel is polluting our home environment and is causing such a problem, that our lives are affected in a negative way.

Such problems may be occasional, or may happen on a regular basis so that what started as tolerable, gradually becomes a nuisance.

What constitutes an actionable nuisance, must be something which presents a health risk or unreasonable nuisance to the average person.

Types Of Nuisance Pollution

The most common forms of nuisance pollution are the following:

  • Smoke from bonfires
  • Noise from neighbours or animals
  • Unpleasant smells from neighbours, industrial premises or animals
  • Fly-tipped rubbish
  • Vermin or insects
  • Intrusive light

What You Can Do About It

The best and most immediate action you can take against nuisance pollution is to approach the person or people responsible in a polite and friendly manner. It is highly probably that they are unaware of the distress they are causing and would be only too happy to help correct the problem or find an acceptable solution. Make sure you make a note of the day you had the chat and the outcome that was achieved, just in case you need it for any further dealings on this issue.

If your first approach is kindly, most nuisances can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. However, if nothing happens, the next stage would be to follow up your initial conversation with a letter once more explaining the effect their actions are having and asking them to resolve the issue. Once again, make sure the letter is polite and that you are being reasonable in your demands. Make sure you keep a copy for reference as you may need to it for any future correspondence.

If a personal appeal doesn’t work or you fear that it could meet with threatening or aggressive behaviour, your next port of call will be to contact your local council.

Environmental Health Department

The Environmental Health Department in a council is the section responsible for investigating and helping to resolve nuisance issues of this type.

Their first job will be to determine that the subject of your complaint technically constitutes a statutory nuisance. If it does, they will then ask you to keep a detailed diary recording when and for how long the nuisance occurs and what effects it has on you and your household. They will also ask you what you have done towards trying to solve the problem so far and ask you for details of any conversations had or letters you may already have sent.

If the problem can be determined as a statutory nuisance, the Environmental Health team are obliged to take action on your behalf under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act. An Officer will then visit the property to talk to the offender, if there is one, and also to determine the exact nature and effect of the pollution at a time when it is occurring. Dependent on their findings they will then take appropriate measures to help control the effects of the pollution and if needs be, refer the case to the Magistrates Court for legal action to be taken.