Contact Details: Nuisances

The basic concept of a nuisance is one premises materially affecting the enjoyment of another premises.

The criteria to be considered when assessing nuisance is the frequency and duration of any event and how controllable the source is. An isolated occurrence would not normally satisfy the criteria for nuisance. However, there may be exceptions such as a prolonged party affecting a large number of people.

The following are problems that could be investigated for nuisance:

  • Noise (eg amplified music, barking dogs, noise from other animals/birds, air conditioning units etc) The Council cannot deal with noise children playing and shouting; traffic on the highway; train or aeroplane noise.
  • Smoke from bonfires
  • Accumulation of rotting rubbish that is giving off an odour
  • Animals kept in a state that may be prejudicial to health
  • Light being emitted from a premises (street lighting is excluded)

Noise from building sites is covered by different legislation. As construction work is noisy because of the nature of the works, where work is audible at the site boundary the working hours are restricted to:

  • 8am - 6pm Monday – Friday
  • 9am – 1pm Saturdays
  • At no time on Sundays or Bank Holidays

Noise from other commercial sources may be inherent due to the nature of the work. Although this is still covered by nuisance legislation, there is a Statutory Defence of Best Practical Means. This means that if the company are taking all reasonable measures to minimise the noise the Council will not be able to take any action.

How the Council investigates nuisance complaints:

Where possible, efforts to resolve any problems between both parties should be tried first. If such efforts have not been successful or if there is a valid reason why such an approach cannot be made to the other party a letter will be sent to the person causing the problem giving them the opportunity to resolve issues without formal intervention by the Council. Details of the complainant are not revealed in the letter. Diary sheets will be sent to the complainant so that all incidences can be logged detailing the effect they have on the complainant’s enjoyment of his/her property. Upon receipt of completed diary sheets the Council will review the evidence and decide on whether further action is required.


Three Rivers House