Statutory nuisance
Produced in partnership with Jeremy G Phillips of FTB Chambers and Charles Forrest of FTB Chambers

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Jeremy G Phillips of FTB Chambers and Charles Forrest of FTB Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Statutory nuisance
  • Statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Local authority duties in respect of statutory nuisance
  • Nuisance order by a magistrates’ court
  • Categories of statutory nuisance
  • Meaning of 'prejudicial to health'
  • Meaning of 'nuisance'
  • Appealing an abatement notice
  • Offence of failure to comply with an abatement notice or nuisance order
  • Penalties for failure to comply with an abatement notice or nuisance order
  • More...

Statutory nuisance

Statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

A wide range of conduct (eg emission of smoke, fumes, dust etc), which was, in the past, subject to prosecution at common law for the offence of public nuisance, is now regulated by statute.

The key statute is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), in particular EPA 1990, Pt III and Sch 3 which relate to statutory nuisance. EPA 1990 provides a self-contained code, giving local authorities (eg district councils and London and other borough councils) and aggrieved individuals separate avenues of enforcement to abate and prevent statutory nuisances, as well as creating offences inter alia for contravening or failing to comply with those enforcement measures.

Local authority duties in respect of statutory nuisance

The regime is operated mainly by local authorities, which are under a duty:

  1. to inspect their areas from time to time for any statutory nuisances

  2. where a complaint of a statutory nuisance is made to them by a person living in its area, to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to investigate the complaint, and

  3. where they are satisfied that a statutory notice exists or is likely to occur or recur, to serve an abatement notice (arguably, unless they have good grounds to consider that a ‘best practicable means’ (BPM) appeal would succeed)

A slightly different duty applies (under EPA 1990, s 79(1)(g)) where

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