Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Not upheld Pollution 28-Feb-2019
Summary: The complainant says smoke from her neighbour's wood burner prevents her opening her windows creating risks to her health and that she can smell the smoke in her property. The complainant says the Council has not acted quickly enough to stop the nuisance. The Council says it has visited several times and not witnessed a statutory nuisance which means it cannot initiate formal action. The Council says when it investigated the concerns expressed in a residents' petition residents did not want to give evidence. The Ombudsman finds the Council acted without fault.
Statement Not upheld Pollution 18-Feb-2019
Summary: Ms X says the Council has failed to act to resolve problems from a market near her home. The Ombudsman has not found any evidence of fault by the Council and therefore he has ended his investigation of this complaint.
Statement Not upheld Pollution 12-Feb-2019
Summary: Mr F complains the Council has failed to properly investigate his complaints about odour from a restaurant near his home. The Council has agreed to investigate whether there is a statutory nuisance. I have therefore discontinued my investigation.
Statement Not upheld Pollution 09-Jan-2019
Summary: Mr B complains the Council failed to deal with his reports of nuisance from burning and dog barking at his neighbour's property. Mr B says he had to put up with smoke and noise nuisance for longer than necessary and the smoke damaged some belongings. The Ombudsman has found no evidence of fault by the Council.
Statement Not upheld Pollution 08-Jan-2019
Summary: Mr and Mrs B complain the Council failed to investigate reports of smoke nuisance. The Ombudsman has not found any evidence of fault. He has completed the investigation and not upheld the complaint.
Statement Not upheld Pollution 04-Dec-2018
Summary: Mr B complains the Council did not impose a planning condition to prevent waste being burned on his neighbour's property when it granted this individual planning permission. He says it took too long to explain why it was not able to impose the condition, and its Environmental Health Team was powerless to stop his neighbour burning waste after the permission was granted. The Ombudsman has found the Council was not at fault because it considered Mr B's request for a planning condition but was not required to impose one. In addition, it's Environmental Health Team acted in line with its procedure when Mr B reported his neighbour was burning waste. We accept it initially did not clearly explain why it could not impose a planning condition, but this is a customer service issue rather than a case of maladministration.
Statement Upheld Pollution 29-Nov-2018
Summary: Mr B complained the Council failed to take action when a business operator began using an incinerator outside the hours allowed by a planning condition. The Council's communications with Mr B have been confused, the Council has not been clear about the purpose of the condition and officers failed to keep site visit notes. That did not affect the outcome. Mr B's injustice is therefore limited to the confusion the Council's communications created and his raised expectations. An apology, payment to Mr B and commitment to keep site visit notes in future is satisfactory remedy.
Statement Not upheld Pollution 26-Nov-2018
Summary: Mr X complains the Council failed to monitor air quality in his village after a new Energy Recovery Centre began operating in 2017. He said the Council also failed to practice the precautionary principle by not recognising the health risks of the mixing of emissions from the centre and a nearby china clay production plant. The Council is not at fault. The Council considered the law, government guidance and modelling completed by the Environment Agency. It decided Mr X's village did not meet the criteria for monitoring and said there was no good reason to practice the precautionary principle.
Statement Upheld Pollution 06-Nov-2018
Summary: Mrs X complains that the Council failed to properly investigate an odour nuisance. She said the nuisance caused by the odour caused her to relocate her business and she suffered an injustice. We find the Council at fault for sometimes failing to do what it said it would do. However, we do not find this caused Mrs X a significant injustice.
Statement Upheld Pollution 30-Oct-2018
Summary: Mr X and Ms Y, who live together, complain the Council has not properly investigated their nuisance complaint about smoke emissions from a neighbouring property. The Ombudsman finds there was fault in the Council's response to Mr X. It failed to respond quickly when he called about an incident in progress, as it had asked him to, was slow to provide details of its out of hours service and then arranged site visits at arbitrary times without making plans to see Mr X in person. Although we cannot say the Council would have found the smoke was causing a statutory nuisance, the failure to investigate properly has caused uncertainty and frustration. We proposed this be remedied by an apology and financial redress and the Council agreed.