The council will investigate complaints about smells from industrial, trade and business premises that could be considered a statutory nuisance.

What is an odour nuisance?

For a smell to count as a statutory nuisance it must do one of the following:

  • Unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises;
  • Injure health or be likely to injure health.

If a statutory nuisance is happening, has happened or will happen in the future, the council can serve an abatement notice. This require the person responsible to stop or restrict the smell.

Statutory nuisance laws don't apply to smells from residential properties.

What sort of things might be considered a nuisance?

Nuisance smells can be caused by:

  • Agricultural practices like spreading slurry onto land;
  • Sewage handling facilities;
  • Food processors and commercial kitchens;
  • Animals, livestock and poultry;
  • Slaughterhouses, abattooirs and rendering plants;
  • Paints and solvents from garages or workshops.

How does the council investigate nuisance smells?

To work out whether a smell is a statutory nuisance, the council will consider one or more of the following:

  • Where the smell is coming from
  • The character of the area
  • The number of people affected
  • If the smell interferes with the quality of life of people nearby - do they avoid using their gardens or opening windows?
  • How often the smell is present
  • The characteristics of the smell

Wind and weather conditions will be taken into account as this can cause variations in smells. We may also ask you to keep a diary recording how often you perceive the smell and its effect on you.

How can I report a nuisance odour?

Please complete this form as fully as possible, and an officer will be in touch.