Odour pollution

Although complaints due to offensive odours are not as common as complaints about smoke or noise, they can still be investigated and remedied by us.

We can help you if you are suffering regular incidents of offensive odours from a commercial or industrial premises. It is unlikely that we could assist you when dealing with smells from muck spreading.

Although we cannot take nuisance action when odours arise from domestic premises, the Environmental Protection Team can deal with certain causes of odour at domestic premises, for example accumulation of domestic waste or accumulation of animal litter.

The chemicals which give rise to smell are normally detectable at very low levels and cannot generally be measured by way of instruments. When carrying out an investigation of an odour complaint, there is a misconception that an electronic measuring device is used to determine the type of odour and its concentration. Unfortunately, this is not true. Odours are very complex and the most efficient device we have to smell an odour is our own nose. Sensitively to smell will vary considerably between individuals and any judgement of whether or not a smell constitutes a nuisance can take time as the Investigating Officer must visit to try to witness the smell.

For a business or industry to cause a statutory odour nuisance the smell would have to be so offensive and so prolonged that it significantly interferes with well being, comfort or enjoyment of property.

If we are satisfied that someone is causing a nuisance, a legal notice can be served on the person responsible requiring them to stop causing the nuisance.

Failure to comply with the notice is an offence for which they can be prosecuted.

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