Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 defines the following matters as statutory nuisances:
- any premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance
- smoke emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance
- fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance
- any dust, steam smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premise and being prejudicial to health or nuisance
- any accumulation or deposit which is prejudicial to health or nuisance
- any animal kept in such a place or manner as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance
- any other matter declared by any enactment to be a statutory nuisance
What does the law say?
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 empowers the Council or the occupier of premises to take action where there is a statutory nuisance.
If the Council is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or recur, a Legal Notice under Section 80 will be served, requiring the nuisance to stop. The Council has to set a time limit by which the nuisance must be abated, and can specify any works needed to stop it. The person served with the Notice may appeal to a Magistrates’ Court within 21 days.
Alternatively, Section 82 allows a complaint by the occupier of the premises to be made direct to the Magistrates’ Court, without involving the Council, and;
a) if the Magistrates are satisfied the alleged nuisance exists, they will make an Order
requiring the defendant to abate the nuisance within a specified time, and;
b) if appropriate, make an Order prohibiting a recurrence of the nuisance.
In both cases, action should be taken against the person causing the nuisance, or if that person cannot be found, then proceedings may be taken against the owner or occupier of the premises causing the nuisance.
If an Abatement Notice or an Order made by the Magistrates’ Court is not obeyed, any further contravention will be an offence and may result in a fine.