Supporting neighbourhoods

Annoyances and disturbances such as noise, smoke or odour can spoil our enjoyment of our immediate surroundings.

We always advise residents experiencing some kind of disturbance to try and talk to the person causing the disturbance directly; in most cases they have no idea they are causing a problem and promptly stop. Most people try to solve problems that occur with neighbours directly and this is the fastest and most successful way of resolving problems.

We have powers to intervene if a disturbance becomes a Statutory Nuisance or is being caused by ant-social behaviour. Statutory Nuisance is a legal definition under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and whether a disturbance is bad enough to be considered a Statutory Nuisance will depend on the frequency, duration and character of the problem and how it affects the average person living in their home. Proving a Statutory Nuisance can therefore be a lengthy process and does require substantial evidence. This means we are rarely able to take formal action and is why we encourage people to resolve disputes informally.

Further information is available on statutory nuisances on the GOV.UK website (external link).

Anti-social behaviour is defined under the Crime and Policing Act 2014, further information is available on anti-social behaviour on the GOV.UK website (external link).

In this section you will find information on the most common types of neighbourhood disturbances and advice on how you can resolve the situation and how we can help you if you can’t.

Disturbances from noise

If only we all liked the same sounds, at the same time of the day or night, life would be much simpler. But we don’t.

Disturbances from smoke

We received a high number of complaints about smoke, most of which are due to bonfires.

Disturbances from odour

Before you contact us about an odour problem, you must be able to identify where the odour is coming from.

Disturbances from artificial light

Artificial light is a fairly common cause of complaints and is generally the result of newly installed lights on domestic or commercial premises (buildings and/or land).

Accumulations on private land

Individuals and businesses have a duty to dispose of their waste properly. This is usually in bins or by taking waste to house hold waste sites provided by East Sussex County Council.

Private drains and sewers

The responsibility for sewers and drains is split between Southern Water, East Sussex County County and ourselves.

Invasive non-native weeds

Invasive non-native weeds are becoming an increasing source of concern here in the UK.

Before you report a pollution problem

Wherever possible we expect people to have tried to resolve matters themselves and reporting a problem to us should always be a last resort.