Noise

Noise we can help with:

  • barking dogs
  • DIY
  • loud music
  • construction noise
  • factory noise
  • equipment noise
  • burglar alarms
  • motor repairs

Noise we can't help with:

  • children playing
  • day to day activities such as lawn-mowing, vacuuming, toilet flushing at reasonable hours
  • road traffic on the public highway
  • occasional or one-off parties
  • noisy behaviour in the street
  • fireworks
  • air traffic noise
  • emergency services sirens

When a complaint is made we will consider the duration, severity and likelihood of recurrence before a course of action is decided. In most cases you will be asked to complete a log sheet.

Smoke

All smoke from residential, business and industrial premises is covered by statutory nuisance laws, unless they have an exemption. If you're being disturbed by a bonfire or smoke in your area, we always recommend that you try to resolve the problem informally first, before you contact us. We find most issues can be resolved informally without the need for our involvement.

Factors considered when assessing a smoke complaint include:

  • wind direction
  • time of year
  • time of day
  • type of Smoke
  • how unreasonable the activity is

Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke drift across a road may face a fine if it endangers traffic. In this scenario please contact the police.

Light

Light pollution or nuisance can be caused by security lights, car park lighting and floodlights.

Factors considered when assessing a light pollution complaint include:

  • use of light
  • direction of beam
  • power of bulb

If you are suffering a light nuisance from a neighbouring property, we would advise that you approach the neighbour in the first instance to see whether the bulb or the direction of the light can be changed.

Odour

We can only investigate odour nuisance when the source of the nuisance is from a commercial premises.

Factors considered when assessing an odour nuisance complaint include:

  • type of odour
  • strength of odour
  • weather conditions
  • character of the area

Muck Spreading

Often, we receive odour complaints in periods of hot weather due to the agricultural practice of spreading bio-solids (sewage sludge), semi-liquid slurries and solid animal manures. Although the odour is unpleasant, this is a legitimate agricultural practice to fertilise agricultural land and the odour does not pose a threat to public health. Muck spreading is also considered the most sustainable use of the substance as it reduces the use of chemical fertilising agents especially phosphorus and nitrogen and otherwise the by-product would be disposed of in landfill.

The Environmental Health team at Stratford-On-Avon District Council cannot investigate complaints in relation to agricultural muck spreading or related activities unless the smell is persistent and the duration is for a significant period (over several days). We encourage farmers to follow DEFRA's Codes of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water, Air and Soil (2009) in order to minimise the odour spreading to residential areas. Due to prevailing winds, it may be difficult to identify the source of the odour.

Although the odour is unpleasant, the spreading of waste in agriculture is considered lawful practice and does not pose a threat to public health. If you have concerns about the legalities of the semi-solid material left over from the process of spreading, please note that the substance contains nutrients essential to plants and animal. Muck spreading is also considered the most sustainable use of the substance as it reduces the use of chemical fertilising agents and otherwise the by-product would be disposed of in landfill.

Log a Complaint

When logging a complaint please provide your name, address, telephone number, address of the alleged perpetrator and a description of the nuisance. The majority of nuisance complaints will initially receive a log sheet that will need to be completed over a 2-4 week period and returned to the council. During this time an officer will begin initial investigations into the complaint.

Please note that in most cases we will not investigate anonymous complaints.

In cases where we have carried out the necessary procedures and feel that a statutory nuisance is not being caused you can take your own action under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

It is important to note that when investigating a complaint, the council has to act within the constraints of the law and we can only take legal action where the law applies and where the necessary evidence exists.

Contact: The Environmental Health team

Last updated on 18/08/2022