Reporting a nuisance

Before reporting a nuisance, please read our guidance notes on the information we will need to take the matter further. You will also need to complete some actions after reporting a noise, nuisance or pollution complaint (such as completing diary sheets about the alleged issue).

A nuisance can include:

  • excess noise from a neighbouring house, business, car alarm, cockerels or barking dog
  • dust from a nearby building site
  • excess artificial light
  • bonfires and smoke
  • building site

We cannot investigate complaints about:

  • Noise from church bells, lawn mowers, commercial firework displays, wildlife
  • Odour from domestic dwellings
  • artificial lighting causing sky glow/impacting dark skies

If you experience one of the above from a neighbouring property or business, we suggest (if you feel comfortable to do so) that you approaching them first to speak with them about the problem. This usually resolves the problem quickly and is a better long-term solution.

Make a formal complaint about an alleged nuisance

We strongly recommend you read through the guidance notes below before making a formal complaint.

If an alleged nuisance continues to be a problem and you’d like to make a formal complaint, you will need to fill out one of our online complaint forms.

If the problem occurs outside normal office hours, please see our out of office hours page here.

What happens when you report a nuisance?

We will:

  • contact you to discuss the problem
  • ask you to keep a diary on the issue
  • contact the neighbour or business to let them know that a complaint has been made
  • try to gather evidence (such as accounts from other residents and recordings)
  • pursue legal action if the neighbour continues to cause problems by serving a formal notice – this may ultimately result in a fine or seizure of equipment

Please note, if we need to pursue legal action to resolve the complaint, this could result in your identity being revealed to your neighbour during legal proceedings. You may also be asked to give evidence in court.

For example, your neighbour will have a legal right to know who made a complaint against them if they decide to appeal an Abatement Notice in court. You could also be required to give evidence if the case goes to court.

What to do if you’ve received a letter from the council about an alleged nuisance complaint

If we’ve contacted you about an alleged problem, please contact the case officer who has written to you, to discuss the matter.

Please do not ignore the allegation or problem, because if it is substantiated, it could result in you or your business having an Abatement Notice served against you or, if breached, you could end up going to court and getting fined.

Contact us - Environmental Protection

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01235 422403
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

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South Oxfordshire District Council
Environmental Protection Team
135 Eastern Avenue
Milton Park
Milton
OX14 4SB