Complaints about unacceptable odour from
commercial premises are often the result of process changes or
failures. The occurrence of odour is often the first indicator to
the operator that something has gone wrong. It is therefore
important to identify the source of odour, and to describe how
often and when it occurs.
Wherever possible we will try to anticipate
any problems relating to odour by making comment on the application
planning consultation stage.
If you consider the odour to be unreasonable,
try visiting the business and speak to the manager. They may
not be aware they are causing a problem and may be able to resolve
the matter without difficulty.
When a complaint is made about a premises,
officers will contact the manager to establish the cause and to
give advice on possible solutions.
If this informal action fails to reduce the
level of odour, we will need you to complete diary sheets so we can
gather more detailed information about the frequency and duration
of the disturbance. Your diary will help us decide the best
way for us to witness the odour when it is happening. Once
all of the necessary evidence has been gathered we will review it
and determine the most appropriate course of action to take to
resolve the issue.
If we consider the odour is unreasonable we
will identify a resolution with an appropriate timescale, and try
to maintain the co-operation of the management.
There is no set level where an odour becomes a
nuisance. When we make our judgment, we will consider:
- How often the odour occurs;
- How long the odour lasts for;
- How strong the odour is;
- The time of day/night;
- The nature of the area;
- If the business is using the best practical
means to reduce or eliminate the odour.
Where progress is slow, or co-operation not
achieved, or we are satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, we
will serve an Abatement Notice which incorporates a timescale for
In rare cases where the notice is not complied
with and the problem still persists, legal proceedings may
follow. Whilst we will keep your identity confidential during
the initial stages of our investigation, it may not be possible to
do so should we proceed with formal action. In some
situations, your identity may become apparent.
Agricultural odours are also a common cause of
complaint. Almost always these are associated with normal and
reasonable farm activities. However, there are measures that
farmers can take to minimise odours and their effects, and the
Commercial Regulation Team can provide advice to them regarding
Please note – the Council is not
legally allowed to deal with odours that arise from a domestic