Noise, artificial light, smoke and smell nuisance


Artificial light nuisance

Common sources of complaint about artificial light nuisance include:

  • domestic security lights
  • industrial and commercial security lights
  • sports lighting
  • car parks
  • commercial advertising.

If you are concerned about artificial light nuisance coming from a neighbour's garden, a local business or manufacturer, often the best way to deal with the problem is to go straight to the source. Consider talking to the person or company responsible and point out the problem.

Smoke, dust and odour nuisance

We recommend that you do not have bonfires at domestic properties as it is likely that the smoke will cause nuisance to your neighbours and contributes to local air pollution. Although it is not illegal to have a bonfire It is an offence to:

  • cause a smoke nuisance; or
  • emit dark or black smoke from the burning of trade waste.

The council does not deal with odour or smoke associated with barbecues. If you affected by smoke from a domestic property, often the best approach is to talk to your neighbour and explain how the smoke is affecting you. If this does not solve the problem or you are not able to then contact the council for further assistance.

Homeowners/ Landlords please note if you have contractors/ builders working at your property please ensure that any waste materials are not burnt. This type of waste would be considered to be trade waste and as such burning would be an offence which carries fines up on conviction of up £20,000.

Commercial smoke nuisance

No business should be disposing of any waste materials by burning – this includes builders and contractors working on domestic properties. The Council can take action under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (unauthorised disposal of trade waste) and under section 79 (smoke nuisance).The Clean Air Act 1993 also makes the emission of dark smoke or black smoke from the burning of trade waste an offence for which the council can take legal proceedings.

Odour nuisance

The council does not deal with odour nuisance from domestic properties such as cooking smells or barbecues. If you are disturbed by ongoing smell problems, and can identify the source, often the best option is to speak to your neighbour and explain how the smell is affecting you and politely ask that they resolve the cause of the odour. If the odour is associated with bonfires this is a matter you should report to the council for investigation.

Contact us about light, smoke and smells issues

If the nuisance is currently taking place, please call us on 020 8937 5252 Monday to Friday, 11am to 5pm including Bank holidays.

Alternatively, fill out our nuisance form.

If you have a matter to report Friday to Sunday between 6pm until 2am, please call 020 8937 1234 and press option 3.