It is a fact that we all make noise and can cause nuisances, often without realising it. Whether you are mowing your lawn, having a bonfire or repairing your car, or playing music. What appears to one person as an essential activity or a relaxing sound may be regarded as a nuisance by another.
WHAT CAN I DO ?
A personal approach often works.
If you are concerned about a nuisance often the best way to deal with the problem is to go to talk to the person or company responsible and point out the problem. You may find they are unaware that they are disturbing you.
This is nearly always the best action to take initially. Remember to make your approach in a calm and polite manner. This will increase the chances of achieving a possitive resolution to the problem. This also shows that you have been reasonable in your approach.
Speak to your landlord or freeholder
If you are a tenant or leaseholder you may be able to deal with the nuisance by asking your landlord or freeholder to act for possible breech of tenancy agreement or leasehold condition.
Neighbour disputes can sometimes be resolved through independent mediation. The West Sussex Mediation Service offers a confidential, free and independent service to all residents in the Horsham District. They may be able to help resolve your problem without formal legal action. Please call (01403) 257800 or 258900 or see the website.
Public Health and Licensing Department
The Public Health and Licensing Department at Horsham District Council may be able to investigate for evidence that a statutory nuisance exists.
If the nuisance is intermittent, as is often the case with noise nuisances, they may ask you to keep details in the form of a diary. There is no set level at which noise becomes a statutory nuisance.
For example, in deciding whether or not a noise nuisance is a statutory nuisance the Environmental Health Officer has to consider what would be the likely reaction of an average, reasonable person to the noise taking into account a number of factors including, the locality, the time of day or night, the loudness, and the frequency and duration of the noise complained of.
In the majority of cases, the Council will try to solve the problem informally. If this fails and it is satisfied the nuisance amounts to a statutory nuisance it will normally serve an Abatement Notice. This may require the nuisance to be stopped altogether or be limited to certain times of the day. A person on whom an Abatement Notice has been served has a right of appeal to a Magistrates Court within 21 days of it being served.
If a person on whom an Abatement Notice has been served fails to comply, without reasonable cause, he will have committed an offence and would usually be prosecuted in Court. In these circumstances we would usually require the person who complained to be a witness for the prosecution.
Taking your own legal action
Sometimes it is not possible for the Public Health and Licensing Department to take action, for example where they have not been able to witness the nuisance. In such circumstances you can take your own action by contacting the Magistrates’ Court directly. This is quite simple and need not be expensive.
Horsham District Council has produced a number of information leaflets to help residents including: Neighbourhood Noise; Bonfires; Car Alarms; House Alarms
The Mediation Service has also produced an information leaflet on their service
Brookhurst Wood Landfill Site
A web site has been set up as part of Horsham District Council’s commitment to local residents living near the landfill site in Warnham, to provide them with up to date information about progress the Environment Agency is making in dealing with smells from the site.
Please visit Brookhurst Wood Landfill Site for more information.