Information on odour nuisance

The ability of odours to be carried long distances in the air means that odours have the ability to affect a large number of people. The degree to which people are affected will however depend on the sensitivity of their sense of smell and their tolerance of the odour in question.

How we can help

We are able to take action under Section 80 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990 in cases where a statutory nuisance is found to exist. The types of problems that we are able to deal with however, are restricted to the following:

  • fumes from boilers
  • smoke from bonfires
  • accumulations of waste (such as dog faeces, food items and so on)
  • odour arising from the manner in which animals are being kept
  • filthy premises
  • odour from industrial, trade or business premises

Please note that we have no powers to deal with cooking odours from domestic sources.

You will be asked to keep a record over a period of weeks, detailing what you can smell, for how long and at what time of day. We will then use this information to determine if there is any pattern to the problem and then seek to find the cause and resolve the issue.

If the odour is found to be giving rise to a statutory nuisance then an Abatement Notice requiring the person responsible to take remedial action may be served. Sometimes, however, there is nothing further that can be done. You should be aware that if you live close to sewage works, farmland on which slurry is spread, a refuse tip or close to certain other smelly activities you may be able to smell these odours from time to time. All we can do in these circumstances is require the operator to do what they reasonably can to minimise those smells.

If you would like us to investigate an odour nuisance, please contact us.