Report a nuisance odour
Use this page to get help with an odour.
We can investigate complaints about odours coming from industrial, trade and business properties, including:
- Sewage treatment plants
- Food factories and commercial kitchens
- Animals, livestock and poultry
- Slaughterhouses, abattoirs and rendering plants
- Paints and solvents from garages or workshops
We are unable to help you with odours coming from:
- Domestic cooking
- Muck spreading
These smells may be unpleasant but they are not considered harmful to your health and will gradually disappear.
What should I do?
The people creating the odour may not know that they are causing a problem.
Get in contact with them before reporting the issue to us. This way you can resolve the matter quickly and maintain a good relationship.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to the individual or business, use this template letter to help you.
Keep a copy of your letter and start recording any events that affect you or that you feel are a cause for concern.
What if the odour continues?
If the person or business hasn’t responded to your requests, complete our online reporting system by clicking the button below.
We will get in contact with the people responsible for the nuisance.
Your details will not be shared with them unless we decide to prosecute.
How will you investigate my complaint?
We will decide if the odour is a statutory nuisance (covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990) or, in the case of a business, whether they have demonstrated “best practicable means” (if the source of the odour is being used in the correct or most effective way).
We will consider:
- where the odour is coming from
- the character of the area
- how many people are affected by the smell
- how often the odour is present
- the characteristics of the smell
- wind and weather conditions.
If we find that a statutory nuisance exists an Abatement Notice will be served. This will require the person responsible to stop or reduce the nuisance. This person will also be liable to a fine, if they do not comply with the notice.
We can only take court action if an Abatement Notice has not been complied with. If we do start court proceedings you must be prepared to give evidence to the Court under oath.
If we find that a statutory nuisance exists, we will try to resolve the problem informally.
What if my issue is not considered as a nuisance?
We investigate complaints from an impartial position. You may be told that no statutory nuisance was found or that we couldn’t gather enough evidence. In this case, you can take your complaint directly to the Magistrates Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.