Odour is the smell that we are able to detect from substances, usually carried by air into our nostrils. 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.
Odours can be pleasant and unpleasant. Odour intensity is the strength of the perceived odour and odour character is the property that enables us to distinguish between different odours. Odour complaints can arise from activities such as muck spreading, the keeping of livestock, restaurants and take-aways, filthy premises (e.g. rubbish accumulation at a domestic property) and smoke from chimneys, boilers and bonfires.
Odours arising in certain circumstances can be a statutory nuisance. This depends on the frequency, duration, intensity and whether it interferes with the use and enjoyment of your property. We cannot deal with cooking odours or smoking odours from domestic properties, as these are not considered to be unreasonable activities or behaviours. Odours arising from premises with a build up of waste can be prejudicial to health. In such cases the Council may serve an abatement notice if appropriate. If the householder fails to comply with the notice the Council has powers to obtain a warrant to enter and clean the property and the costs of this work will subsequently be recovered.
Making a complaint
The Council will investigate odour nuisance in much the same way as other nuisance complaints. This is intended to establish whether the problem is sufficiently severe as to warrant legal action.
If an Officer witnesses a statutory nuisance, then the Council will serve an Abatement Notice. This is a legal document that we serve on the person responsible for the nuisance, or the owner or occupier of the premises. It instructs them to stop the odour occurring and not allow it to restart. The notice is normally served on the person responsible for the nuisance, however if that person cannot be found the owner or occupier of the premises causing the nuisance will be issued with the notice instead.