A statutory odour nuisance is something that is so offensive and prolonged that it significantly interferes with the enjoyment and use of the affected property.
Nuisance smells can be caused by problems with:
- agricultural practices like spreading slurry or sludge onto land
- sewage handling facilities
- food processors and commercial kitchens
- animals, livestock and poultry
- paints and solvents from garages or workshops
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we investigate complaints about smells from industrial, trade and business premises.
For the 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 there is evidence that a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur in the future, we must serve an abatement notice. This requires whoever is responsible to stop or restrict the smell. The notice will usually be served to the person responsible but can also be served on the owner or occupier of the premises.
Some industrial processes are subject to legal controls on odour through environmental permits issued by Environmental Health or the Environment Agency.