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Nuisance is defined as ‘an unlawful interference with a person’s use, enjoyment or rights in connection with their property or land’. The interference needs to be substantial and is more than an annoyance. We have to base our work on what the law says. This section covers the most common forms of nuisance and the steps you can take to stop them.

We cannot provide an instant remedy against every nuisance. When assessing nuisance, we consider time, duration, extent of the nuisance and degree of unreasonableness as factors to be considered.  We also have to judge it on the behaviour of the average person.  We are unable to take into account specific health issues or work patterns of the people affected by the nuisance i.e. we cannot consider the sleep pattern of people who work night shifts and wish to sleep in the day.

The majority of nuisance complaints are resolved informally, as in most cases there is insufficient evidence of a statutory nuisance, but the nuisance can be stopped or reduced to more acceptable levels.

If you are bothered by smell, smoke or noise, the first thing to do is discuss the matter with the person causing the problem. They will often not realise they are disturbing you.  A lot of complaints can be resolved informally and your neighbour will appreciate the opportunity to sort out any problems directly with you without the intervention of the Council.  Remember that you will generally be living close to the person you are complaining about, so you will still regularly see them.  Avoiding talking to your neighbour at this stage can cause problems later if you need to consider mediation to resolve a noise complaint.  

If you feel you cannot speak to your neighbour, you could put a friendly note through their door.

If the person won’t co-operate you can contact our Environmental Health & Licensing department for advice, or you may wish to consider mediation.

Types of nuisance we can deal with

We can deal with a wide range of nuisances including:

  • smoke, ie bonfires
  • fumes or gases from private dwellings
  • noise (except aircraft)
  • insects
  • artificial light
  • dust

To report a nuisance that is affecting you in Aylesbury Vale, please click here to complete our form.


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Dog Barking


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01296 585605