Noise Abatement Notice

Noise Abatement Notice

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, if a council receives complaints about nuisance it must investigate to determine whether there is a statutory nuisance.

Statutory nuisance includes smells from industry; smoke; noise from premises, equipment, vehicles, or machinery; artificial light from premises; accumulation or deposits on premises (rotting rubbish etc); or insect infestations from business premises.

For the issue to count as a statutory nuisance it must unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises, and/ or injure health or be likely to injure health.

If the council are satisfied that a nuisance exists or is likely to happen again, it must serve an abatement notice on the person responsible for the nuisance, or on a premises owner or occupier.  Notices can be served on companies as well as individuals.

We have recently acted for a company in their appeal of a noise abatement notice. The appeal was successful, and the noise abatement notice was set aside. Our client was also awarded their costs of the appeal. If the noise abatement notice had remained in place, this would have been catastrophic for our client’s business.

If a noise abatement notice remains in force, it places the recipient at risk of enforcement should the local authority believe that there has been a breach of the notice. It is an offence to fail to comply with any requirement or prohibition imposed by the notice.

A breach of a noise abatement notice can result in a prosecution against the recipient.  A person charged with this offence is at risk of a hefty fine if a prosecution is successful against them.  Councils can also take action to stop any alleged nuisance or apply to the High Court for an injunction.

There is a 21-day time limit for lodging an appeal against an abatement notice. If no appeal is lodged within this timeframe, the recipient will be bound by the terms of the abatement notice for as long as they are connected to the premises to which it relates.

It is crucially important that anyone served with an abatement notice seeks urgent legal advice, ideally as soon as it is received from the council. We can assist by helping you to identify grounds of appeal that will apply to your case; prepare the appeal documentation; and assist you in engaging with the council to see if any settlement can be reached, to avoid the need for a court hearing.

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