Change to our usual service
We're currently experiencing very high demand due to the impact of coronavirus. We will assess complaints of noise, smoke, odour, waste or other statutory nuisance, but we'll be prioritising emergency issues which present a serious public health risk. This means that you may not get an immediate response from our team.
Many complaints we receive are not within the scope of what's considered a statutory nuisance. If your complaint relates to a neighbour noise nuisance, or bonfire, we encourage you to calmly discuss your concerns with your neighbour in the first instance. This will often resolve the issue.
Last updated 3 March 2021
1. Smoke nuisance
Smoke can be considered a statutory nuisance (against the law) if it affects people or property. If the smoke is dark and from an industrial premises, this may be an offence. It may be an offence whether or not it affects anyone.
Although burning waste is not environmentally friendly it's not against the law to have an occasional bonfire. There are no set times for having a bonfire.
Before making a complaint, we would advise you to approach your neighbour and discuss the problem informally. This can often solve the problem. If this isn't possible or you have already tried this with no success, we may be able to help you.
When a complaint is made, we investigate to see if the smoke is a Statutory Nuisance. When you make a complaint, we will take details of the problem. It is very important that you give us the correct address of where the smoke comes from.
We normally cannot act on this information alone. We must collect evidence and build a case.
If a statutory nuisance is found, we must serve an Abatement Notice on the source of the problem. It requires the smoke to be stopped or reduced.
Sometimes we may serve a notice and the smoke will continue. In these cases we consider prosecuting the source. Prosecutions for domestic smoke are rare. If this happens, you may have to give evidence in court about how the smoke affects you.
You can contact the Environmental Health team by calling 0161 474 4181 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.