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UK-Justice
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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Sirs, We have an on-going dispute because our neighbours

Customer Question

Sirs,
We have an on-going dispute because our neighbour's wood burning stove is frequently dumping smoke and dirt into our property. We have asked them to have it fixed but been refused. We have asked the Council to take action but have again been refused.
Although the Council seem to have the power under the Environmental Protection Act they have consistently stated that the appliance conforms to the Building Regulations and the stove is listed as permitted for use in a smoke control area (and they are burning an authorised fuel) therefore they can take no action.
Having looked at the Guidance for the Building Regulations regarding the installation of heating appliances it indicates that the smoke and fumes should be safely distributed, taking account of local wind patterns, In the Smoke Control Area (Exempted Fireplaces) Order the guidance states that the installation and use of this equipment makes no other change to the legislation.
The continual exposure to smoke and fumes is known to be unhealthy and has aggravated existing heath problems but the council still insist they can take no action. We have contacted our local MP and are hoping to have the problem resolved. Failing this we will need to apply to the civil courts for action to be taken, however we don't know how to do this or what evidence is required - we have a record of the number of times we have been subject to smoke and fume over the last three months - is this any use?
What else can we do?
Respectfully

Peter Keith
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question, I will do whatever I can to help you. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE.

What is it to want to achieve?

And the council have refused to do anything?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sirs,


I want the council to require our neighbour to deal with the problem and stop the discharge from their stove from entering our property.


 


The council repeatedly state that the stove meets the Building Regulations, is of an approved type therefore is not covered by the Environmental Protection Act (Section 79) which deals with statutory nuisances. This is odd because the guidance on Odour does not exclude wood burning stoves, specifically, it states that odour from gas and oil heating is covered.


 


Failing this I understand that I will need to take this problem to a civil court but do not know how to do this. If it comes to this action - what evidence is required to ensure the court will give instructions for the problem to be dealt with satisfactorily?.


 


Can I get legal assistance or financial help?


 


Respects


 


Peter Keith

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

You may have a civil claim in nuisance.

This is where something comes from your neighbours property onto yours.

On this case smoke and smells.

What you can do therefore is 2 things;

1) Claim for compensation
2) Ask the Court for an injunction

You can seek damages for the damage and distress caused.

You can also seek an injunction to stop or limit the burning activity.

If granted the Judge can grant this. As such if the neighbour breaches the order then he can be sent to prison for contempt of Court.

But you would need a Solicitor to draft proceedings and present your argument in Court.

But based on what you have said, you have a civil claim in nuisance and can therefore seek an injunction and damages.

I realise that this is stressful but hope this helps.



Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience: Called to the Bar in 2007
UK-Justice and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?

UK-Justice
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply - As the problem has been brought to the attention of out local MP I can't do anything at the moment.


 


I fail to see why the Local Council have not taken any steps to deal with the problem. Their officials have simply said I will have to accept the pollution and get used to it. At the same time the Council have stated that 'the smell of smoke is a statutory nuisance' but still refuse to do anything.


 


I am unsure what evidence is acceptable to the court - we have no measurements other than our smell and this is very temporary but low levels of pollution persist in the house although no other person seems to have a problem - It's a little like sitting in a room which is regularly used by smokers - the long term affects however are beginning to affect our health.


 


Any suggestions are welcome


 


Respects


 


Peter Keith

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
I can't say why the Council wont do anything.

It may be that you can also complain about the Council

You can contact the Ombudsman. They can be located at: www.lgo.org.uk

They can investigate your complaint and are independent and free.

But those are my only suggestions I am sorry to say.



Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.

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