Environmental Health is responsible for these areas of environmental protection:
Complaints regarding industrial and commercial noise are investigated by Environmental Health except for noise incidents arising from industrial activities and installations operating under a permit issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) who will investigate breaches of a permit conditions. Where a noise nuisance is established, action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Control of Pollution Act 1974 can be used to mitigate the noise concerned.
Most noise complaints tend to be resolved informally and formal action is rare. Where a complaint is complex, detailed monitoring using specialised equipment may be necessary and the investigation can become time consuming.
Where a complaint is made in relation to noise, contact should be made within 24 hours and the officer concerned will be able to advise and assist with any queries or concerns raised.
If it is possible that the investigation is likely to become lengthy, the officer shall also advise all parties concerned and maintain close contact, throughout the period of investigation.
In almost every local authority area barking dogs are one of the main sources of noise complaint. Often the only legal remedy to this type of complaint is found in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, Section 49. This allows an individual, but not a local authority, to make an application to the District Court for an order requiring a person keeping a "creature" take steps (short of destruction of the creature) to prevent the continuance of any annoyance specified. You must appear in Court with any witness you may have. It will be up to you to convince the Court that what you say is true.
We do recommend, however, that you raise the matter with your neighbour first. Explain how the barking affects you and ask your neighbour if they can tackle problem.
In exceptional cases we may be able to deal with dog barking as a "statutory nuisance" under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This will depend on us being able to gather sufficient evidence so we must have your full details and the address where the barking dog is located. Diary sheets will be sent to you and you must complete these as instructed. The sheets will be assessed and - if there is evidence a statutory nuisance may exist - further investigation may follow. If it is considered the barking does not constitute a statutory nuisance, no further action will be taken. If the diary sheets are not returned we will take no further action.
Even if action is taken under the Environmental Protection Act for statutory nuisance this will not mean the dog barking will necessarily be stopped. It will mean that a notice is served to reduce the barking to a level not considered a statutory nuisance.
We have no power to have dogs destroyed or otherwise silenced but the owner may be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for failing to comply with a notice to abate the nuisance.
It is also possible for you to take private action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The burden of proof for you is 'on the balance of probability', rather than the higher criminal standard of 'beyond reasonable doubt' which we must meet. This is most useful where we do not consider the matter to be a statutory nuisance or are unable to gather sufficient evidence that a statutory nuisance exists. You should contact a solicitor or the Sheriff Court below if you wish to take this action:
47 Dysdale Street,
Tel: 01259 722734
Complaints about odour are regularly received by members of this Team. The source, duration and intensity of these odours tend to vary considerably and some investigations can become very involved.
Most issues are resolved informally and formal action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 would only be considered in extreme circumstances. Invariably, odours are part of our everyday lives and what may be offensive to one individual may not be to others. Given that such subjectivity is at the heart of odour complaints, the officer concerned will take into account the source, duration and intensity of the problem together with your location before deciding what action is appropriate.
Any complaints should be acknowledged within 24 hours of receipt. The officer concerned is likely to need to visit the location affected in order to assess the nature of the problem. The results of any such investigation shall be detailed to the complainants on completion.
The Council has a duty to monitor local air quality. This duty is to ensure the various air standards specified in legislation are achieved. The monitoring is carried out for: -
The data available to date indicates that the air quality standards, as specified in the legislation are being achieved, however monitoring is ongoing.
For more information you can visit our page entitled Local Air Quality Management and view or download our latest Local Air Quality Management Report.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency deal with smoke from factories. They can be contacted on 0800 80 70 60.
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000