Home > Rights > Your Rights Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Your Rights Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Environmental Protection Act Rights

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 encompasses a wide range of issues aimed at both businesses and individuals but is ultimately concerned with maintaining the quality of both your immediate and surrounding environment. On an individual basis, this can include a whole host of things, and the areas outlined below are just some of the issues that may directly affect you in a residential area.

Smoke Nuisance

The Act protects those who wish to prevent the pollution of air quality within their neighbourhood. This might be as a result of a nearby factory which might be belching thick smoke out of a chimney to a Neighbour Who Wishes To Build A Bonfire to burn some garden waste. That’s not to say that neither a business nor an individual is not permitted to produce smoke but it has to be managed in a way that does not contravene the Act.

Noise Nuisance

In addition to The Noise Act 1996, covered in more depth in another article contained within this website, noise nuisance is also incorporated into the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and is aimed at preventing the quality of your environment being reduced through excessive noise, including loud music, Persistent Barking From Dogs, DIY projects, anti-social behaviour, nearby businesses etc. In fact, it would encompass anything where the noise is loud and intrusive, whether that’s persistent or intermittent, and which affects the quality and comfort of your everyday life.

Odour and Insect Nuisance

Odour and insect nuisance can pose potential health risks and is often the result of either bad waste management and/or a casual approach to dealing with household waste. It could also be due to incorrect installation of extractor fans from local food producing businesses, for example, and you are protected from having to put up with this under the Act, too.

Dog Nuisance

In addition to persistent barking, the Environmental Protection Act also incorporates other issues that can damage and/or seriously harm the quality of your immediate environment. This can include dog fouling in inappropriate places and not cleaning the mess up to Dangerous Dogs which are not permitted under UK law to dogs who are causing a nuisance or which have got out of control and thus could pose a danger to other members of the community.

Light Nuisance

This can be caused by security lighting which does not meet the recommended standards whereby it can directly affect another person’s property. It may also be a company within a residential area that has a light on throughout the night for security purposes which is causing a nuisance to neighbours.

Other issues which neighbours can often complain about which would be covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 can include things like litter dropping, abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping and graffiti.

It is an important Act to comply with as if you contravene it, your actions will have a direct effect on your neighbourhood. Dirty streets, noisy houses, unruly dogs all contribute to the bad perception of a particular neighbourhood and can be the catalyst for the emergence of anti-social behaviour, which can lead to crime.

Most of the time, many of the issues discussed here can be simply resolved by individuals (and local businesses, where appropriate) communicating with each other to come up with solutions and, perhaps, compromises in certain instances. However, the Act does protect your rights by law and if no resolutions can be reached, your first port of call will usually be your local authority’s Environmental Health Department who will take action to resolve the problem. In some cases, they might be able to achieve this by themselves, although in serious cases, they may also have to resort to getting the police involved.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I live next door to a private school,all there waste bins are against my gable end and sometimes they block my windows of light, they also have yellow waste bins as well, this must be a health hazard and the clattering of bins go on untill 9 in the evening due to the cleaners,complained loads of times via email always say they will do something butthey never do
dozey - 17-Jan-17 @ 7:51 PM
For 2 years the West Yorkshire police/some private ambulance/council perhaps and the gass and factories near by our residential area harassed and tormented me to move out of the area, when I had actually left but was forced to return for unforeseen circumstances out of my hands. We have all complained over this but I did more so. The way they handled it was by covert harassing me for 20 months, everyone that came near me would cough, this happened every were not just at the doctors or a one flu problems. I want the hell out of here as the stench once back on, is a combination of burnt plastic, sewer, gass chemicals and burnt manure. With some local morons burning wood for their heating. Some tried to help but others through covert harassment with the rest that wrecked months of my life and if this is your only home, others shouldn't have messed up so much else as I had left from this area never to return. None of the factories if they participated in the harassment have been investigated for harassment. Apparently fresh air is classed as a luxury in this area, whilst every one else in the UK actually has the right for it with out being tormented over it. I got intimidated to leave and my computer was hacked into, where I've been cyberstalked and harassed as well. I couldn't understand what business the local police and some paramedics would have with the trivial things I was doing on my computer, it was to bully me to get to leave this area and the harassment through others in the area has still continued. I have lost 2 years of my life to this and have nothing left. They made it unbearable to try to have a regular life here.
laura - 10-Jan-17 @ 6:16 PM
Had enough- Your Question:
My neighbour has put 3 wheelie bins, close to my bay window link detached. Throughout the day and early evening you can hear the bin lids banging up and down. A few months ago I banged down my bin lid straight after my neighbours; I was hoping this would help make them think of the noise it creates, etc. However, it's made it even worse. The son (still living at home in his mid 30's) now thinks it's funny to bang the lids without putting any rubbish inside the bin. Have I got a right to complain- this is getting very boring and frustrating now!!!!

Our Response:
This would not be classed as an environmental/noise nuisance really. It's more of a dispute which you need to sort out with your neighbour. A friend chat would be the easiest way to resolve this.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Jan-17 @ 10:43 AM
My neighbour has put 3 wheelie bins, close to my bay window link detached.Throughout the day and early evening you can hear the bin lids banging up and down. A few months ago I banged down my bin lid straight after my neighbours; I was hoping this would help make them think of the noise it creates, etc. However, it's made it even worse. The son (still living at home in his mid 30's) now thinks it's funny to bang the lids without putting any rubbish inside the bin. Have I got a right to complain- this is getting very boring and frustrating now!!!!
Had enough - 7-Jan-17 @ 2:30 AM
I have a friend who has let her house get into a terrible state , it is very dirty and she has not done housework or washing up for months it's full of clutter , the problem is she now has rats in the house but won't call environmental health as she is ashamed of the state of the house what is the legal position of environmental health if neighbours report this
noz - 28-Dec-16 @ 12:35 PM
We live in a first floor flat our balcony is next to each other A wall is splitting the two balcony but the drain is on my side. my neighbour keeps allowing his dog to use thebalcony as a toilet, some time she washes the balcony and some time with rain water the toilet is on my balcony as thr drain is on our side. I been complaining to the council for the passed 2years they seen it told the neighbour not to do it but she carrying on the councils not doing any thing about it. Where do i go? She a lazy neighbour she don't take her dogs out for a walk. Please help me
Deejay - 15-Dec-16 @ 8:41 PM
Rothers - Your Question:
My neighbour allows his dog to foul all over his front lawn and doesn't pick it up. There is now very little grass without faeces on it. I know from the deeds of our new development that he owns the land however, there is no barrier between the lawn and the public footpath that runs its perimeter so it is easy for children to stray off the path into the mess. I have approached him and he seemed appologetic but somehow I don't think things will improve. Does he have to clear it up?

Our Response:
Check this with your environmental health department, sometimes, even if it's on private property, large amounts of animal excrement will be a health hazard.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Dec-16 @ 12:19 PM
My neighbour allows his dog to foul all over his front lawn and doesn't pick it up. There is now very little grass without faeces on it. I know from the deeds of our new development that he owns the land however, there is no barrier between the lawn and the public footpath that runs its perimeter so it is easy for children to stray off the path into the mess. I have approached him and he seemed appologetic but somehow I don't think things will improve. Does he have to clear it up?
Rothers - 5-Dec-16 @ 6:04 PM
My neighbours have a 'cook house' lean to built in their garden where they cook everynight by burning wood - it causes a lot of smoke, acrid air, stinks out the street, our house & makes it hard to breath. Can anything be done?
Bobby - 27-Nov-16 @ 1:06 PM
My neighbour has put 3 wheelie bins, close to my bay window semi detached. A small bush separates it. If you watching tv you can hear the bin lids banging up and down. Also they can see in our window when emptying their bins.Don't think its right.
Bunny - 17-Nov-16 @ 5:06 PM
I park my car on my driveway facing the road. This means it faces a neighbours house. Due to the frosty weather,when I leave for work around 0515 I start my car up to help clear the windows. Being a newish car it's fitted with daytime running lights. This morning the neighbour told me to switch off my headlights as they were lighting up the front of his house. He also said that he would report me. I did tell him It was not the headlights but it was the daytime running lights which I am unable to turn off. Am I in the wrong for this?
wolfy - 10-Nov-16 @ 9:37 PM
shorty - Your Question:
I have a neighbour who keeps on feeding pigeons. Their feaces ends up all over my house, cars and surrounding areas. Is there anything we can do about this as I understand pigeons are protected?

Our Response:
Most local councils ask that residences don't feed pigeons as they can become a problem. You could try asking your neighbour to stop feeding them. There's nothing you can do to specifically keep them away from your garden really. Your local council might be able to advise you.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Nov-16 @ 2:23 PM
I have a neighbour who keeps on feeding pigeons. Their feaces ends up all over my house, cars and surrounding areas. Is there anything we can do about this as I understand pigeons are protected?
shorty - 3-Nov-16 @ 11:06 AM
My neighbour usual has a fire at least once a week but he has had a fire in his garden for three nights in a row, lots of smoke, our window facing theirs wide open, so whole of upstairs now stinks! My husband did have to say something to him this time, his reply was "I will have a fire when I want a fire" unbelievable.
Annoyed neighbour - 30-Oct-16 @ 9:26 PM
Jamie - Your Question:
Hello, I live in a communal block of flats and I have issue with the smell of tobacco smoke entering my property. This is due to the fact that the old woman in the flat next door to me is a heavy smoker, the smell comes through the walls and it is very strong it is very unpleasant. It affects my partner as she has asthma and everything I own smells of cigarette smoke because if this. I am going to speak to her and let her know it is causing me issue, but if she decides that she doesn't want to cooperate with me what options do I have? Thanks.

Our Response:
Do you rent? Could you have a word with your landlord about this?If they cannot do anything you could try environmental health but it's unlikely they'll be able to do anything if she's smoknig in her own home.
ProblemNeighbours - 18-Oct-16 @ 11:20 AM
Hello,I live in a communal block of flats and I have issue with the smell of tobacco smoke entering my property. This is due to the fact that the old woman in the flat next door to me is a heavy smoker, the smell comes through the walls and it is very strong it is very unpleasant. It affects my partner as she has asthma and everything I own smells of cigarette smoke because if this. I am going to speak to her and let her know it is causing me issue, but if she decides that she doesn't want to cooperate with me what options do I have? Thanks.
Jamie - 17-Oct-16 @ 12:39 AM
Annie - Your Question:
Hi. My house in right on the pavement and it is on the way to a popular dog walkers field. There have been incidents of dog pooh being left along the path, but for the last 2 occasions, it is obvious that large chunks are being deliberately placed along the wall of my house and now outside the front door. I have sent photos to the council before, they responded once saying case closed. What can I do?? I have a small child who is really upset by it as he plays outside on the path. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

Our Response:
You should contact your local police about this (on the non-emergency number).
ProblemNeighbours - 10-Oct-16 @ 10:32 AM
We live across the road from a restaurant the office in southport there fans are huge and noisy we contacted the council who said the noise was too loud in order to stop them running them through the night we complained by phoning them the council said we should not have done this they also told them they would be monitoring them when speaking to them on the phone they said Our local council said the noise level was ok and told us in an email not to phone them no more we are driven mad with these fans and beginning to wonder who side they are on our council said they were
jenny - 7-Oct-16 @ 10:22 PM
hi. My house in right on the pavement and it is on the way to a popular dog walkers field. There have been incidents of dog pooh being left along the path, but for the last 2 occasions, it is obvious that large chunks are being deliberately placed along the wall of my house and now outside the front door. I have sent photos to the council before, they responded once saying case closed. What can I do?? I have a small child who is really upset by it as he plays outside on the path. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks
Annie - 7-Oct-16 @ 9:44 AM
anton - Your Question:
We live over the road from a restaurant they run there extractor fans all day and sometimes through the night we have contacted the council who say that the are unexceptally loud but have failed to do anything coulu you let us know how we can get these fans made quieter please help we can't cope much longerfansare unexptably

Our Response:
When you say they have failed to do anything, have you checked with the council? Perhaps that have given them a grace period in which to do the work or get them replaced?
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Sep-16 @ 10:19 AM
We live over the road from a restaurant they run there extractor fans all day and sometimes through the night we have contacted the council who say that the are unexceptally loud but have failed to do anything coulu you let us know how we can get these fans made quieter please help we can't cope much longer fansare unexptably
anton - 29-Sep-16 @ 12:00 AM
Hi there am just wondering what I can do I have been in my house for nearly 6 mouths I have 3 kids my naugbours seem to complain about the noise coming from my house I have 3 kids I do like to have friends over sometimes but we're not loud as my kids can sleep throw it I was just wondering if there is any way I could get moved or even any thing I could do its all old ppl about me I think that's the problem to be honest but I can't stand this anymore as they don't even come to my door now when am drinking a need to go out or go to my friends house witch I don't think is fair can some1 help me thanks
Ashleigh - 17-Sep-16 @ 4:30 PM
Commercial bin smell - Your Question:
We live next door to a school that has four commercial bins next to the public highway but behind a metal mesh fence. Every time we go out into our front garden we can smell the bins. Can we object to it being unsightly and smelly?

Our Response:
Speak to your local environmental health department, they may be able to offer some advice to the bin owners/school or force them to store the bins differently.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Sep-16 @ 11:42 AM
We live next door to a school that has four commercial bins next to the public highway but behind a metal mesh fence. Every time we go out into our front garden we can smell the bins. Can we object to it being unsightly and smelly?
Commercial bin smell - 9-Sep-16 @ 4:04 PM
Who is responsible for cleaning up faeces on council property? Over the last two years I have spent a lot of time and money trying to prevent, and dealing with, pets fouling near my kitchen window with no avail. The council won't do anything as "they don't have the authority to enforce their own rules." Now there has been human excrement up against the back door of our block of flats since yesterday morning. Northampton Council has been aware for over 24 hours and done nothing. I have phoned them several times with two hours between each call. Was told it would be dealt with within an hour.
Stan - 3-Sep-16 @ 12:35 PM
Our neighbours have got approx 30 ducks and some chickens and sometimes the smell of duck poo is disgusting andour garden is now full of flies. We operate a business which involves cooking and it is impossible to keep the door closed. Unfortunately due to having numerous problems with them in the past we no longer talk and wonder if they are stacking the poo by the fence just to irritate us further. What can we do?
Lovely - 27-Aug-16 @ 1:58 PM
I have lived at my house for over 8 years now. I'am quite concerned about a man with a garage in my backsies, which I initially thought he was using the garage for a hobby fixing his beach buggy. He's always there which tells me he must be doing this as a job. He would be revving the engines till 11 o'clock at night. I appreciate that he can make noise till this time and never really complained that he was keeping my baby up doing so. But now my little one is old enough to play in the garden. It concerns me that the fumes off revving his engines and the use of spray paint uses every day even weekends could be affecting my sons health. We can't even go in the backsies to play on his bike as there's nails and oil everywhere. This isn't an exaggeration. We never got told when we bought our house that there was a business fixing vehicles in our backsies. All the neighbours we speak to complain about the constant noise and bad smells and polluted air. I've noticed he keeps a lot of big gas cylinders and lots of tires which frightens me if they go of being so close to my house. How will I find some information whether he has the right health and safty requirements and does he have a business permit? I would appreciate any information.Thank you
Linz - 15-Aug-16 @ 7:26 PM
What can I do about pigeons that sit in the branches of a council owned tree that overhangs my shared ownership property & daily poo on my car that is parked on my drive & also on my footpath?
Suenav - 14-Aug-16 @ 4:42 PM
Dear people I am living in a terraced house which as been made into two flats now I have enquired where my bins are but Bolton council say I am not entitled to any bins there is only One black bin between me and the Tennant down stairs when I asked the council why the man who delivers the bins now there should be three for recycling proposes anyway for each Tennant surely ? But the chap said that the landlord as apparently Not registered this building as two properties. So I have refused to pay for A TV licence on the grounds that its only one building am I right in doing this? There is some sort of workshop next door heavy noise and there it a continual dust in the atmosphere in my flat what can I do please its a old house it could be asbestos or anything if I complain the landlord will evict me can you help me yours desperate
Paulsapoet - 27-Jul-16 @ 2:22 PM
I am constantly picking up dog poo from outside my drive & surrounding kerb on our culdisack, my car drives over it or worse it gets stood in & trailed through, I suspect a neighbor is just letting there dog out to roam in the quite culdisack that is opposite there home, can the council do anything about this part from the notices already up stating a fine of £1000 is the penalty?
Trin - 24-Jul-16 @ 8:22 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProblemNeighbours website. Please read our Disclaimer.