Noise, smells, smoke, light and dust pollution


Excessive and regular noise can have a heavy impact on our lives.

Because of this we can sometimes get involved if there is no other way to resolve the issue.

However it is unlikely for us to get involved if the noise is caused by:

  • a one off party
  • neighbours arguing
  • lawnmowers used during the day
  • people walking on stairs
  • babies crying
  • normal living noise (eg people walking around, children playing and reasonable conversations)

We also have no control over:

  • traffic
  • loud people in the street
  • aircraft or train noises

Before you contact us it is better to talk to the person responsible. Asking us to intervene before speaking to your neighbour can damage your relationship.

We offer the following guidance:

  • talk to person causing the noise when it’s stopped. It’s easier and you will both be calmer
  • explain that the noise is disturbing you and the impact this is having on your life ie you couldn't sleep
  • if you are not confident enough to approach your neighbour you could ask a friend or family member to do this on your behalf, or you could write to your neighbour
  • if you live in rented property, you could discuss the problem with your landlord. Most tenancy conditions include a requirement that tenants do not cause a disturbance to neighbours. Your landlord may be prepared to take action if serious disturbance is being caused

Sometimes people don’t know that they are causing a problem and are happy to change their behaviour.

However do be careful if you think the person may be aggressive.

Smoke, smells and dust

Smoke, smells and dust can also be issues caused by neighbours or businesses. We recommend the same advice as above.

If you report black smoke coming from a commercial premises, one of our duty officers may investigate on the same day.

if you are concerned about your open fire or wood burner producing smoke you can find out more on our air quality page.


You must never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres or anything containing plastic, foam or paint. 

If you burn rubbish that causes a nuisance, we may issue an ‘abatement notice’ and ask you to pay a fine. 

Smoke from a bonfire may be harmful to your health and others or become a nuisance.


Common sources of complaint about artificial light nuisance include:

  • domestic security lights
  • industrial and commercial security lights
  • sports lighting
  • car parks
  • commercial advertising

If you are concerned about artificial light nuisance coming from a neighbour's garden, a local business or manufacturer try to talk to them and point out the problem before reporting to us.

Involving the Council

If you have spoken to your neighbour or the person causing the issue and they either refuse to change their behaviour or ignore your requests then we may get involved if the issue is considered a statutory nuisance.

We do not deal with one off parties or get involved in neighbourly disputes.

We are unable to provide a 24/7 reactive service.

In order for us to investigate the issue please complete the relevant form and check out the diary sheets we will need from you below to capture the reoccurrences of a nuisance.

Report noise pollution

Report smoke pollution

Report pollution from smells Please note we only investigate smells from businesses.

Report dust pollution

Report light pollution

Next steps

When we have received your form we will contact you to discuss the next steps. If a statutory nuisance is being caused we will have informal discussions with the person or people causing the issue. If this is not possible and does stop the problem we will serve them a legal notice to stop.

Also we'll ask you to please keep a record of the issues you have experienced using our diary sheets.

We sometimes need to use these in court so please ensure they are accurate and detailed. The more information you provide, the better able we are to help you.