Air Quality - Making a Complaint

The Environmental Health Department always encourage you to speak to your neighbour directly when problems arise. Further, we know from experience that making a formal complaint can often place a strain on the relationship between you and your neighbours and that this may continue for some time. We appreciate however that this might be too daunting for some or indeed prove unsuccessful; you may have tried this before.

There is also specific advice about Garden Bonfires.

If you are having problems with your neighbour be they business or domestic then we recommend the following procedure;

Step 1

You will need to contact the Environmental Health Department to discuss your current problem. At the time of your call or following receipt of your letter or email an officer will advise you of the current procedure and will explain the options available to you.

Step 2

You will be required to provide details of both yourself and the address you are complaining about. The Environmental Health Department does not accept anonymous complaints, nor does it divulge any of your details to an outside party. The reasoning behind this is that you too have a vital part in the complaint investigation and also ensures that we can contact you with updates and questions if we need to.

At this stage the complaint procedure will be explained to you. The investigating officer will advise you as to the best way forward.

Step 3

If you decide that a formal investigation is the only option available to you then you will receive a letter confirming your complaint; we expect to get this letter to you within 5 days of your complaint although it is normally sooner. The letter will advise you of our actions and also detail the requirements for the completion of diary sheets; we suggest you keep diary records for 2 - 3 weeks and then return them to us.

Where your approach to the council has not meant that you have spoken to an officer, then the investigating officer should endeavour to speak to the complainant to get a clear picture of all the issues, to enable Considered Professional Opinion on the progression of the complaint and provide any advice. Should this direct verbal contact not be possible or unduly delays the process, formal letters and diary sheets shall be instigated.

The requirement for diary sheets is due to the nature of the legislation available to us. Statutory nuisance deals with frequent, lengthy occurrences and how they affect your ability to enjoy your own home; it does not cover one off or infrequent events.

At the same time we will also send a letter to the person you are complaining about explaining that a complaint has been made and asking them to look at remedying the situation informally. We are also required to advise them that they will be the subject of an investigation should the problem continue.

Step 4

Where a complaint continues and you return the diary sheets, an officer will determine whether the information provided, points to a problem which might be appropriate for investigation under statutory nuisance. If this is the case you will be contacted and advised of our plans for further investigation; during this time you may be required to continue with diary sheets to support our work. In some cases we may consider that there is insufficient evidence to take your complaint further; should this be the case we will contact you to discuss any options available to you.

Step 5

Where we establish that further investigation is required we will work in accordance with our Enforcement Policy; in most cases the first or indeed second letter to the person you are complaining about normally solves the problem. Where this is not the case we will consider the enforcement options available to us and act accordingly whilst keeping you up to date with our actions. This work will continue until the situation is remedied.

To make a complaint or speak with an Officer please contact us.

Muck spreading

We are unable to deal with complaints about the smell of spreading manure (muck spreading) on land. We may get involved if the smell carries on for long periods of time or smells stronger than expected.

The spreading of sewage sludge (bio solids) is lawful and deemed the best environmental option for use of treated sewage sludge. There may be an odour, for short spells of time, while the sludge is moved, stored or spread onto fields.

The smell can be offensive but does not a create a statutory odour nuisance taking into account all other factors.

We understand that muck spreading can be odorous often coinciding with finer weather. However, it is nationally recognised that this practice is necessary in a controlled way, part of these controls prevent spreading at certain times and certain conditions, both weather and land. This restricts the spreading window.

Farmers are asked to follow best practice when spreading muck on their fields.

Due to the nitrogen controls it is unlikely that the field will be spread again in the near future.

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