There is not a strict definition of a “statutory nuisance”, but it is generally regarded as a substantial interference with a person’s legitimate use and enjoyment of their land. Everyone has a duty to avoid causing statutory noise nuisance, which will adversely affect a person’s wellbeing and enjoyment of their property.
There is no set level at which noise becomes a nuisance. In deciding whether a noise amounts to a nuisance an investigating officer would consider factors including:
the locality in which the noise is occurring
the time of day or night the noise is occurring
the loudness and duration of the noise
how often the noise occurs
There are certain noise sources that cannot be considered to be a statutory nuisance such as road traffic noise from moving vehicles.
In the majority of cases noise complaints are resolved informally before formal action is instigated. However, if the Council is satisfied that a noise amounts to a statutory nuisance then an “abatement notice” will be served.
The notice will require the person responsible to take the necessary action to prevent the noise from continuing to cause a nuisance. A person on whom such a notice is served has a right of appeal to a magistrates court within 21 days of it being served. A breach of an abatement notice is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and may result in legal action being taken against those responsible by the council.