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Statutory Nuisance

Last Modified September 29, 2017

We can take action in certain cases if you are affected by a statutory nuisance.

What is a statutory nuisance?

A statutory nuisance can include emissions of smoke, fumes or gases, dust, steam and smell, as well as noise.

The nuisance must be coming from a premises and must materially affect the use or enjoyment of other surrounding premises.

What types of complaints do we deal with?

Apart from noise, typical pollution complaints are around smoke and ash from garden bonfires, smoking chimneys, dust from building and demolition activity and cooking smells from restaurants.

How can you report something?

Call us on 020 8207 7435 during office hours, or use our out of hours service. Alternatively email environmental.health@hertsmere.gov.uk

What will we do?

We will take reasonable steps to investigate and, if appropriate, take formal action.

How does this work?

It does depend on the complaint, but generally we investigate to assess the situation and/or ask whoever has made the complaint to monitor the problem.

If we find a statutory nuisance is being, or is likely to be, caused we will serve an Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires the person responsible / the occupier or owner of the premises (as appropriate) to stop the nuisance.

Failure to comply with an Abatement Notice is an offence and may result in legal action.

What are the fines?

If you are found guilty of this type of offence you could be fined up to £5,000 if it relates to domestic premises and £20,000 for commercial premises.

We can also issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) if you are found to be responsible for noise in excess of the permitted level between 11pm and 7am.

Further information:

Part 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

The Noise Act 1996 (as amended by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003)

Statement re smell nuisance in Elstree and Borehamwood as of Friday 29 September:

The current unpleasant smell in the Elstree and Borehamwood areas is being caused by the spreading of compost in the fields known as Deacons Hill Open Space, behind Woodcock Hill Farm in Barnet Lane, Elstree.

Environmental health officers visited the farm yesterday (Thursday 28 September) to observe the spreading, which is a common agricultural practice.

We are currently making enquiries with Hertfordshire County Council, who own the land, and with the Environment Agency, to ensure best practice is being undertaken.

The farmer is intending to spread more compost from next week (2 October 2017).


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