Statutory Noise Nuisance


For a noise to amount to a statutory nuisance there needs to be more than a mere annoyance, but something that will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of anyone affected.

It is well established that even where one person finds a noise annoying it may not amount to a statutory nuisance.

Noise is subjective; loud music played in a detached property may not cause a nuisance, but the same level of music in a block of flats may well do.

Individual sensitivities should not be taken into account, those assessing the noise must assess how it will affect the average person.

A number of factors need to be taken into account when judging whether noise amounts to a nuisance, for example, the time of day, the character of the neighbourhood, the duration of the noise, and the frequency of the noise.

There is no requirement for acoustic measurements and it is ultimately a matter for the court and based on the evidence as to whether there is a statutory nuisance or not.

The law governing nuisance is clear and straightforward and is set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act can be brought either by the Local Authority or by an individual.

Ordinarily, residents have a legal right to be protected against noise nuisance and local authorities employ environmental health officers to investigate and decide whether a particular complaint meets the definition of statutory nuisance.

Where the court is satisfied that the alleged nuisance exists, it must make one of the following orders.

(i)An order to abate the nuisance within a specified time, and to execute any works necessary for that purpose.

(ii)An order prohibiting the recurrence of the nuisance, and requiring the defendant, within the time specified in the order to execute any works necessary so as to  prevent the recurrence.

There is also the power to impose a fine.

If you want to know more about statutory noise nuisance, please contact [email protected] or on 01530 412777.

As always, if you have any issues associated with noise or vibration please contact the relevant experts at Finch Consulting.

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