Reporting a pollution problem

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Reporting a pollution problem

If you have a problem and have been unable to resolve this informally by speaking or contacting your neighbour directly or through mediation then you can contact us to see if we can help.

This page explains the process of reporting a problem to us and includes what you can expect from the service and what we will require from you.

After you contact us, we will send you information about approaching your neighbour and the mediation service. We will also ask you to provide us with some more information about the problem you have reported to us and for details about how it is affecting you and those that live with you.  We will ask if you would be willing to go to court if needed as in almost all cases this would be required if we take formal legal action against someone causing an issue .

We will send you a set of our diary sheets. In most situations you will be asked to monitor the issue over a period and to write down when the problem occurs and how it is affecting you. In cases where you have been asked to complete this information you will then need to return this to us.  If you do not return the questionnaire about your complaint and diary sheets (if required) then in most cases no further action will be taken.

If you do return the information to us then your case will be allocated to an officer who will contact you to discuss the next stage of the process. It is important to emphasise we will need your cooperation during any investigation. Our officers will look at your case objectively and  consider the circumstances, severity of the case, whether the issue is regular or is having a serious impact and will effect whether we are able to help you.  We are unlikely to be able to help you if the issue is infrequent or intermittent

It is important to emphasise that it can be difficult to deal with issues that arise between neighbours to the satisfaction of all parties involved. If informal approaches are unable to resolve matters, investigations can be lengthy and protracted as we will need to gather independent evidence to demonstrate that issues are occurring and are seriously having a negative impact on other people living nearby.  Complaints need to be substantiated and will need sufficient evidence  before we can take formal action against people causing problems. 

Formal action

In exceptional circumstances where we are able to prove Statutory Nuisance then the officer will serve notice on the offender under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This notice formally tells the offender that they must cease causing the nuisance.

If the offender continues to cause a nuisance in breach of the notice then we do have powers to prosecute. It is very rare for a nuisance to go to a prosecution but this is why we have to ask you if you are willing to court.

In a small number of cases if we are unable to prove Statutory Nuisance but have witnessed anti-social behaviour then the officer may be able to serve a Community Protection Notice under the Crime and Policing Act 2014.

For more details on the serving of a notice or on prosecution please view our pdf icon Enforcement Policy [217kb].

We would also like to advise you that if you are a homeowner and you do wish to pursue your complaint, you will be asked to declare this when selling the property in the future. 

If our procedure fails to resolve the problem, or you do not wish to involve us, occupiers of premises affected by noise nuisance can complaint directly to the Magistrates Court under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For more information on this see our Taking your own action page. 

If you still wish to report an issue to us you can do this by using our  Pollution Complaints Form or by contacting us on the details below.

  • Taking your own action

    There is a provision within the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (section 82) for people to be able to take their own action against a neighbour who is materially interfering with the use of your property.

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