What is a statutory nuisance?

The term statutory nuisance has its origins in the huge changes and adverse environmental conditions brought about by the Industrial Revolution.

Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 lists statutory nuisances as:

  • State of premises
  • Smoke emitted from premises
  • Fumes or gases emitted from premises
  • Any dust, steam, smell or other effluvia from industrial, trade or business premises
  • Any accumulation or deposit
  • Any animal kept in such a place or manner
  • Any insects from industrial, trade or business premises
  • Artificial light from premises
  • Noise emitted from premises
  • Noise emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery, or equipment in a street
  • Smoke, fumes, or gasses emitted from any vehicle, machinery or equipment on a street, other than any vehicle machinery or equipment being used for fire brigade purposes

Under the act, each of us has an obligation not to cause a statutory nuisance and if brought to your attention, to take such reasonable steps to stop the nuisance and ensure that it does not recur.

If you think you are suffering from a statutory nuisance, please call 0161 909 6500 or use our online reporting form.

Are you suffering a statutory nuisance from another domestic property?

Every year the Environmental Protection team receives nearly 2000 complaints from both the public and businesses regarding a variety of issues.

There are many different procedures available to Environmental Protection officers, enabling them to address the complaints but most are dealt with under the statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

A statutory nuisance relates to certain types of nuisance described above and has to be either "Prejudicial to health or a nuisance" and has regard to how often it occurs, how severe it is and whether is its reasonable for it to occur.

Procedure for investigating your complaint

1. Can you resolve the issue informally?

It may be appropriate for you, in the first instance, to approach the person causing the problem and politely discuss the situation with them.

It may be the case that they are unaware that they are causing any issues. This is often more effective and more successful in the long term because we have found that the intervention of an external body can make the situation worse.

2. Next steps

If this approach fails, or you don't feel safe in speaking to the person, please gather evidence of the occurrence and extent of the nuisance you are suffering. This evidence provides important information to allow the council to be able to take the matter further.

You should complete a diary sheet that is available for download at the bottom of this page. This should be completed for a minimum of two weeks.

Alternatively, if you would like a copy to be sent to you by post, please call 0161 909 6500.

It is important that any diary sheets you receive are completed with as much accurate detail as possible as these will inform any further action deemed necessary and may be used in future legal proceedings. The information required includes the time and date of the nuisance, how the nuisance affected you and prevented you from enjoying your home, and your evidence of the origin of the nuisance.

3. Report it to Environmental Protection

Once you have completed your diary sheets, please contact the Environmental Protection team on 0161 909 6500 with the details of your complaint or use our online reporting form.

4. Investigation

The Environmental Protection officer allocated with your complaint will assess the information you have included in your diary sheets and will inform you if there is enough evidence for them to take further action.

A letter will be sent to the person causing the problem explaining that we are in receipt of a complaint and that we are investigating. At no time will your details be given out.

Depending on the details in your diary sheets, the officer will either try to witness the nuisance or, if the issue is noise, may use noise monitoring equipment.

5. Formal action

Once sufficient evidence has been acquired and the issue has not been resolved as a result of writing to the person, then the officer is able to serve a notice on them requiring that they stop the nuisance. The result of failing to comply with this notice is either prosecution and/or seizing the equipment that causes the nuisance (if amplified noise).

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 4 November 2014

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