Statutory nuisance

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What is a statutory environmental nuisance?

Statutory environmental nuisances, as defined by law, can include;

  • Noise from domestic premises, businesses or barking dogs
  • Noise from vehicles, machinery or equipment on the highway - but not traffic, aircraft or railway noise
  • Bonfires
  • Dust, steam and smells from industrial, trade or business premises
  • Animals kept in unhygienic / unsatisfactory conditions
  • Insects from relevant industrial, trade or business premises
  • Artificial lighting from premises

Please note that something cannot be described as a statutory environmental nuisance simply because it is unsightly.

What is the law?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that;

"any person who occupies a house or land is entitled to a right to enjoy their property without interference or nuisance from others. "

A statutory or legal nuisance is described as;

"something of sufficient nature, extent and degree so as to materially interfere with someone's reasonable use or enjoyment of their land or property."

It is assessed from the average person's perspective, so matters such as shift work patterns, medical conditions, sensitivities, etc cannot be considered in any assessment.

Who manages this at the Council?

The Environmental Protection Team at Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council investigate complaints that may be statutory nuisances and will take action should the problem be classed as a statutory nuisance.

However, in many cases, we will ask that those concerned try, in the first instance, to resolve the situation informally or with the help of mediators.