West Dorset - general nuisances
We will take all reasonable steps to investigate and, if appropriate, to take formal action in the event of justified complaints of statutory nuisance.
Under the legislation, we investigate complaints of nuisances arising from:
- Domestic noise
- Industrial noise
- Garden bonfires
- Light Pollution
- Insect infestations
- Smoke/ smell from trade premises, or
Once a complaint has been received we log it on our complaints record system. We aim to respond to complaints within 3 working days. Complainants have to supply their name, address and contact telephone number, together with the nature of their complaint.
The investigating officer will usually ask complainants to assist in the collection of the evidence that is required. Residents will be asked whether they have tried to resolve issues with the person responsible for the problem.
Often complainants will be asked to keep log sheets detailing their experience of nuisance. The officer will use the information supplied to decide what further action, if any, is required. In some cases, specialist monitoring equipment may be required to measure disturbances.
Statutory nuisance from emissions of smoke, fumes or gases, dust, steam and smell
A statutory nuisance in this context can include emissions of smoke, fumes or gases, dust, steam and smell. The emissions must arise from premises and must materially affect the use or enjoyment of other residential properties.
Typical of complaints of this type are smoke and ash from bonfires, smoking chimneys, dust from building and demolition activity and cooking smells from restaurants. The legislation does not allow us to deal with complaints of smells arising from domestic premises.
What can we do if a statutory nuisance is established?
We can take formal action if we find evidence of a statutory nuisance.
If satisfied that a complaint of statutory nuisance is justified, an Abatement Notice will be served upon the person responsible, occupier or owner of the premises (as appropriate) requiring that the nuisance be abated. Failure to comply with an Abatement Notice is an offence and legal proceedings may result. If found guilty of an offence of this type the maximum penalty is presently set at £5,000 on domestic premises and £ 20,000 on commercial premises.
Under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 1990 a fixed penalty notice can be served on a person causing or responsible for, a noise nuisance.