Nuisance is a concept that has been developed by the Common Law and describes a particular "tort" or civil wrong. If my neighbour is a nuisance, I will take him to the County court and either claim dames or seek an injunction to sop the nuisance.
Stautory nuisances are wholly statutory causes of action, based on the Environmental Protection Act of 1990. Part III of that act states:
79.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (6) below, the following matters constitute "statutory nuisances" for the purposes of this Part, that is to say—
(a) any premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(b) smoke emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(c) fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(d) any dust, steam, smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(e) any accumulation or deposit which is prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(f) any animal kept in such a place or manner as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(g) noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
(h) any other matter declared by any enactment to be a statutory nuisance;and it shall be the duty of every local authority to cause its area to be inspected from time to time to detect any statutory nuisances which ought to be dealt with under section 80 below and, where a complaint of a statutory nuisance is made to it by a person living within its area, to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to investigate the complaint.
The thrust of the legislation is stop the recurrence of a statutory nuisance, ultimately supported by criminal enforcement.
Local Authorities are the competant authorities, with Environemental Health Officers charged with actual responsiblity. Once an Abatement Notice has been issued by the EHO, the recipeint has 21 days wihtin which to appeal to the Magistrates Court. Failure to comply with the notice is an offence. If a busienss or trade does not comply with the Notice, there is a maximum fine of £20,000. The Court has a discretion to award compensation up to £5000.
What Defences could the recipent of a Notice raise? He could say - and has to prove - that he took the best practicable means to prevent or conuteract the effects of the nuisance. This defence is limited to traders, and does not include smoke or fumes.