Environmental nuisance

Hugh James environmental solicitors have helped thousands of families across the UK take legal action against businesses causing environmental blight and nuisance.

Most of our environmental cases are brought in the law of private nuisance which protects an individual’s right to the enjoyment of their property.

What is an environmental nuisance?

A nuisance is an interference with a person’s enjoyment and use of his land. Nuisances that interfere with the enjoyment of land include foul odours, noxious gases, loud noises, dust, pollution and pest problems.

Environmental nuisance claim types

Our specialist environmental nuisance solicitors have dealt with nuisance cases relating to unpleasant and noxious odours, noise disturbance, dust pollution and even problems caused by vermin and insect infestation. Problems are often attributed to landfill sites, composting operations, sewage treatment works as well as many different types of factories.

Typical environmental nuisance offenders

Nuisance problems may be caused by various businesses including; landfill sites, composting sites, sewage treatment works, factories and foundries.

These types of businesses are sometimes located in close proximity to residential areas; they provide jobs and encourages investment in the local area. Unfortunately, on occasion, they also cause a nuisance and often, it’s not just one family who suffer a nuisance but entire streets and communities.

It may be that the nuisance has occurred recently and the business is simply unaware that they are causing a problem. A friendly word with them can often put matters right.

Your questions answered

What should residents affected by nuisance do?

Residents should support each other; sometimes operators do not realise just how many people are affected by the nuisance they cause.

Residents should also contact the regulator of the company usually the Environment Agency or Local Authority so that they are aware of the nuisance.

Fortunately, the law recognises that property owners or those in rightful possession of the land have the right to enjoy their property.

The remedy for nuisance is commonly compensation to recognise the interference and disruption suffered in the past.  We also consider injunctions or abatement in certain circumstances to prevent the nuisance from occurring in the future.

How can our environmental solicitors help?

Our clients often describe feeling angry and frustrated by the nuisance that they are experiencing. They feel stuck in a ‘David and Goliath’ situation whereby they feel helpless against the companies causing the nuisance.

Often it is not just one family who suffer but sometimes whole communities.  Our aim is to help families put a stop to environmental blight and nuisance and in appropriate cases seek compensation.

We have the ability and vast environmental law experience to stand and fight for our clients to get a solution.

If you would like to discuss a nuisance problem which is bothering you and or others in your local area, or if you would like more information in relation to pursuing a claim, contact us today for free, no obligation, advice.

What can I do if I suffer a nuisance?

We regularly encounter people who tell us that the nuisance stops them from opening their windows, from using their gardens as they would like and that it is embarrassing when they have visitors.

There are two main options available that we would recommend if you are suffering from a problem.

  1. Make complaints
    The first step would be to make sure that the statutory regulator (this will be either the Environment Agency or your local authority) is aware that the site is causing you a nuisance. The Environment Agency has a dedicated hotline (0800 80 70 60) to make complaints about sites that it regulates; your local authority will have an Environmental Health (or similar) department that you can contact. The regulator has a duty to record all complaints and follow them up, but of course, they do not know that there is a problem unless a complaint is made to them. Even if the nuisance is notorious in your community, it is very important that you continue to make complaints whenever you notice the problem and no matter how intense the nuisance is, or how long it lasts. The complaint record is a very important piece of evidence, as the more complaints that are made, the greater the chances of being able to demonstrate its extent.
  2. Keep a nuisance diary
    Another way of demonstrating the nuisance is to keep a nuisance diary, recording the date, time and duration of the nuisance. It can also be helpful to record the weather conditions at the time. The Environment Agency or local authority may provide you with nuisance diary sheets for you to complete, but simply keeping a notebook to hand suffices just as well. Keeping a note of the nuisance as it happens is another good way of demonstrating that the extent of the nuisance. If you send it to the regulator or to anybody else, remember to keep a copy of it.

What else can I do?

We realise that it can feel like a ‘David v Goliath’ scenario when you and your neighbours are up against a corporation that is causing you problems. The nuisance can often be addressed by way of a civil group action, and this operates independently of any investigation that the Environment Agency or local authority may be carried out.

Hugh James has dealt with many cases of environmental pollution, representing thousands of residents in communities up and down the country. If you believe that you are suffering from a nuisance from a local site, please complete the enquiry form below with as much information as possible so that we may investigate it on your behalf.

No win, no fee environmental nuisance claims

Hugh James environmental solicitors have helped thousands of families across the UK take legal action against businesses causing environmental blight and nuisance.

We appreciate that it is often difficult to fund legal actions and so when possible and appropriate our environmental solicitors are able to offer free initial specialist environmental law advice about starting a legal challenge against those responsible for environmental nuisances.

In some cases, we can arrange to deal with appropriate environmental claims on a no win, no fee basis.

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