Other statutory nuisances

Statutory nuisance is a legal term meaning that the actions of someone else are substantially affecting the reasonable enjoyment of your property. For a matter to be actionable as a nuisance it must be serious and persistent, one of events rarely qualify as being a statutory nuisance.

You can find out more information on gov.uk

The most common types of statutory nuisance are:


Factors to be taken onto account can include the frequency and duration of the noise, the context (such as the location, other noise sources nearby), the volume, any tonal elements of the noise, and the time of day it occurs. For further information as to the type of noise which constitutes a statutory nuisance and what Environmental health can and cannot investigate, see the 'noise' page.

You can also find out more information on gov.uk

Smoke and fumes

There are no laws which prohibit garden bonfires, or when they can be lit. However, there are laws around the problems they may cause and the burning of certain materials. It is an offence to burn household waste which creates dark smoke, this includes rubber, painted/treated wood, furniture, tyres and plastic.

You can find more information on gov.uk


We deal with complaints of light which cause a nuisance in your home as a result of commercial or domestic activities. Light nuisance is artificial light emitted from premises, which causes a problem. To be a nuisance the following is considered:

  • disturbance (e.g. by preventing you sleeping)
  • occurrence
  • time of day
  • motives (malicious or ordinary behaviour)

You can find more information on gov.uk

Unpleasant odours

We deal with complaints of smells which cause a nuisance in your home as a result of trade, industrial or agricultural activities.

Please note: we cannot take action against smells from a domestic property unless it is due to a build-up of waste at that property.

Smells from land or muck spreading are usually temporary and pose little risk to health. We would not investigate a complaint about land spreading unless it became a frequent occurrence.

You can find more information on gov.uk

Overgrown/rubbish in gardens

If your neighbour lets rubbish build up on their land, or allows their garden to become overgrown, it could cause problems that affect you. Find out more online.

What you can do

Before you contact Environmental Health, we would advise you to discuss the problem with your neighbour. Often, they simply do not realise they are causing a problem.

In most instances, light pollution being the exception, we will request that you complete nuisance log sheets. Guidance on how to complete the sheets and for how long can be found on the log sheet.


To report a statutory nuisance please contact Environmental Health on 0151 443 4712 or [email protected] with the exception of noise which must be reported online.

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