Making a complaint

Every year the council receives numerous complaints from the general public and businesses about nuisance and pollution.

There are many different procedures available to help council officers deal with complaints through statutory nuisance provisions under the Environmental Protection Act.

A 'statutory nuisance' is defined as "prejudicial to health or a nuisance" and depends on the frequency, duration and severity of the event. In order to determine whether there is a nuisance is taking place, we follow a set procedure to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken at the correct time.

Our complaints procedure

  1. Firstly, try to approach the source of the problem politely to discuss the situation in a friendly manner. This is often more effective and more successful in the long term because we have found that the intervention of an external body can escalate the problem, or create resentment for years to come.
  2. If this approach fails and you do decide to seek help, then contact the Pollution Control team on 0161 909 6500 to report a complaint. We will then send you an information pack which explains what action you need to take before we can begin to investigate further.

Keep a diary

The pack will contain diary sheets which you need to fill in with as much detail as possible about the problem, and we will normally ask you to do this for a period of two weeks.

Each entry must contain:

  • Date, time and duration of the problem
  • How the nuisance affected you, how severe it was and how it prevented you from enjoying your property
  • How you have established where the alleged nuisance comes from

Once completed, return the diary sheets. They will be passed on to the Environmental Health Officer for your area who will assess them.

If the officer feels that there is a nuisance occurring they will inform you that further investigations will take place. A letter will also be sent to the source of the problem explaining that a complaint has been made against them.

Please note that at no time will your details be given to the person allegedly causing the problem. Your anonymity is guaranteed.

The officer will then proceed to investigate the case. This usually involves the officer witnessing the problem as it occurs. In cases of noise nuisance, we are also able to install noise recording equipment where it is appropriate.

If investigations prove that a nuisance is occurring then the officer is required by law to serve an abatement notice. This instructs the person causing a nuisance to take action to prevent it happening again.

Should the person continue to cause a nuisance then the officer will gather evidence to prosecute them for breach of notice. This can lead to a fine or the confiscation of equipment.

Fortunately, most cases never get that far, and we find that the issue tends to resolve itself once people realise that the council has become involved.

Nuisance can occur within the following broad subject areas:

This page was last updated on 10 September 2012

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