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South Bucks District Council
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Odour Nuisance

The types of odour problems that we are able to deal with are restricted to the following:

  • fumes from boilers (excluding odourless water vapour from condensing boilers)
  • smoke from bonfires or chimneys
  • accumulations of waste (e.g. dog faeces, food items, etc.)
  • odour arising from the manner in which animals are kept
  • filthy premises and
  • odour from industrial, trade or business premises

As with all cases of nuisance, we would expect that you contact the source of the problem to ensure that they are aware that there is an odour issue which will enable them to take appropriate action.  Odour complaints are often as a result of a process change or failure, which they may be unaware of.

When we investigate complaints of statutory nuisance we need to consider if the activity complained about severely interferes with another person's use of their property. We cannot deal with cooking odours or smoking odours from domestic premises, and if the source is a commercial premise, such as a restaurant, we cannot enforce any changes if the business has already adopted the best practicable methods to reduce the odour.

Unfortunately smell is not something which can be measured.  Judgement of whether or not a smell constitutes a statutory nuisance can take time especially if the occurrence of the smell is unpredictable and only apparent for short periods of time. Completing a nuisance diary (download below) will assist us in determining whether a statutory nuisance exists.

You can make a formal complaint by completing our Nuisance reporting form