We can investigate and help with pollution incidents, offer advice to householders and businesses, and regulate polluting activities. You can report pollution by contacting us.

Statutory nuisances

Noise pollution can be defined as statutory nuisances and can be dealt with under criminal law. Examples of the types of noise nuisance which this procedure covers are as follows:

  • barking dogs
  • amplified music or noise from radio, television, stereo system
  • noise from DIY activities at unreasonable times
  • shouting, banging and thumping
  • noise from vehicle, machinery or equipment in the street (not traffic noise)

Ordinary domestic noise

The courts have ruled that action cannot be taken where poor sound insulation is found to be insufficient, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Examples of this kind of ‘ordinary domestic noise’ are:

  • domestic appliance noise
  • moving furniture
  • heavy footfall
  • children playing
  • closing doors
  • dropping objects
  • intermittent banging

How to report statutory nuisance

If a loud noise happens a lot, goes on for a long time or interferes with your normal activities, you may be suffering from a noise nuisance. This can be delt with by:

  • an informal approach to your neighbour
  • using the services of Mediation Sheffield (MESH)
  • you can contact us and discuss the complaint. You can download a blank log sheet to record the nuisance, which will then be considered and decide if further action is needed. 
  • if we feel that we are unable to support your complaint, or if you do not want to use our services, you can take your own legal action.

Light pollution

We try to prevent problems from new lighting schemes by making comments on planning applications we are consulted on.  Some schemes don’t need planning permission and other existing lights can be changed without needing planning permission.

Where these cause a lighting problem action can be taken if a statutory nuisance exists.

Some lights are exempt from regulation and the only way to try to deal with these is by informal co-operation. These include lights from:

  • airports
  • railways
  • tramways
  • bus stations
  • prisons
  • public service or goods vehicle operating centres

Lights from other areas such as industrial, commercial and outdoor sports facilities may have a defence of 'best practicable means' in the event that legal action is taken against them.

Remember that people don’t always know they are causing a problem until somebody tells them.

Contact us if you need more information. 

Air pollution

Many activities can affect the air that we breathe. Traffic, bonfires, factories, hot food establishments and building sites are among the most common causes of air pollution. Pollution from road traffic is not regulated by ourselves, although we have duties under Air Quality Regulations to monitor it and implement strategies to deal with it.

We deal with certain other causes of air pollution:

  • bonfires
  • smoke from businesses
  • odour and fumes
  • dust

Contact us for more information.

Environmental pollution

Industrial decline in the United Kingdom has left many areas of vacant, derelict and underused land which may contain substances in the ground that have the potential to cause harm to human health and the wider environment.

In the United Kingdom there are 2 ways of dealing with land affected by the presence of contaminated land. Through the town planning development control process and the enforcement of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.