Noise and nuisance

Smells and fumes

This includes odour from businesses and fumes and gases from domestic residence. Smells from cooking at a domestic residence are exempt.

Complaints of odour may be associated with:

  • Fumes or gases from dwellings
  • Emissions from industrial or trade or business premises
  • Accumulations or deposits of rubbish or harmful/poisonous matter that cause odour issues

A statutory odour nuisance is something which is offensive and of a prolonged duration, and which significantly interferes with the enjoyment and use of the affected premises.

Many things can affect whether an odour would be considered a statutory nuisance including its frequency, duration and intensity, the type of smell and its effects and the character of the area. For example, in the countryside it is generally reasonable to expect odour from farming activities etc.

Odour is not something which can usually be objectively measured meaning that an officer has to make a subjective determination of nuisance. This can be problematic if the occurrence of the odour is unpredictable and only evident for short periods of time.

Factors that are examined when considering the potential existence of a statutory nuisance from odour are:

  • Type of odour
  • Wind strength and direction
  • Duration of odour
  • Frequency of odour 
  • Intensity of odour