Environmental Health - Environmental Protection

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What should I do about a noisy neighbour?

Answer: Many people who have had noise problems, particularly those involving neighbours, have resolved them informally. People have explained to their neighbours the difficulties they are causing, this has meant that they have not needed to report their difficulties to us. In our experience, people are often unaware that they are causing a problem, and will be glad to do what they can to reduce noise. If the personal approach fails, we may be able to help.

Please contact us on 01983 823000 or by email to eh@iow.gov.uk and we will take details of your complaint, send a letter to the person who is alleged to be making the noise and ask them to stop. We will also send you log sheets to record the frequency and impact of the noise nuisance. Once these have been completed and returned, we will assess whether further action is required.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can you help with Sewage, Sewers, Sewerage, Drains and drainage.

Answer: Domestic sewer and drainage problems are dealt with by the Housing Department. They can offer advice to customers and also enforce the laws covering drainage and sewers. Tel. 821000 and ask for Housing Dept.
Sewerage pipes and manhole covers in the highway are usually controlled by Southern Water Tel. 526611.
Gulley drains in the kerbside gutter are the responsibility of the Highways dept. Tel. 823777

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Where can I get advice about developing on previously developed land?

Answer: There are 3 main agencies: Environmental Health (the guardians of human health, plants and animals and buildings), the Environment Agency (guardians of the water environement including groundwater) and Building Control (experts on buildings and construction safety). Environmental Health has produced a leaflet available on its website as well as its strategy for dealing with contaminated land. There is a great deal of information on the Environment Agency's website. If you know or suspect that land had had previous use you are advised to contact Environmental Health who have a list of companies who can give expert advice on contamination and remediation. It will be your responsibility as landowner to investigate the land to establish what contaminants, if any, exist and their extent. You will then need to demonstrate that they pose no risk to humans, plants, animals, ecosystems, buildings, waterways. If they present an unacceptable risk to one or more of these you will need to devise a system for cleaning up the land satisfactorily. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Are there any restrictions on when businesses can burn their rubbish?

Answer: If a bonfire on a trade premises is producing dark black smoke then this is an offence under specific legislation (Clean Air Act 1993). Details should be provided to Environmental Health for further investigation Telephone 823000 or email eh@iow.gov.uk
If the trade waste is being imported onto the site then this is also a matter for the Environment Agency Telephone 08708 506 506.


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What are the major pollutants of concern and where do they come form?

Answer: The main air pollutants of concern are:
• nitrogen dioxide - associated with vehicle exhausts, combustion processes and some industrial processes
• sulphur dioxide - mostly from the combustion of oil and solid fuel, but also from diesel vehicles
• carbon monoxide - from vehicle exhausts and poorly operated boiler plant particles
• very fine particles emitted from vehicle exhausts, combustion processes and industrial sources. Usually referred to as 'PM10' - particles less than 10 microns in diameter. A micron is a thousandth of a millimetre.
• Benzene - an organic chemical emitted in exhausts and also during refuelling.
• 1,3 Butadiene - another organic chemical emitted in exhausts and also from some industrial processes
• lead - mostly from leaded petrol
• ozone


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Are there any restrictions to when I can have a bonfire in my garden?

Answer: There are no “bonfire bylaws” on the Isle of Wight so there are no restrictions to the time of the day that you can burn. However, if you cause a nuisance to your neighbours then action could be taken against you.
Why not take the garden waste to the recycling centre for composting at Standen Heath Landfill off Briddlesford Road, Downend, Newport?

If you are going to burn then:
• Locate the bonfire away from your neighbour’s property.
• Burn only dry waste.
• Restrict the size and frequency of your bonfires.
• Do not burn household wastes such as plastic, rubber or foam


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How do I make a complaint about a noise nuisance?

Answer: You can make a complaint in person, by telephone 823000, e-mail eh@iow.gov.uk or letter addressed to Environmental Health, Jubilee Stores, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2EH.
Your complaint should include:-

• Your name and address and a daytime phone number;
• The address where the noise is coming from;
• The type of noise (for example barking dogs, loud music);
• When and for how long the noise occurs (it will help if you have kept a written record of the times and dates when the problem has occurred - you can find log sheets via the related link which may help you with this);
• The way the noise affects you (for example, it keeps you awake);
• Anything you have done to try to deal with the problem (for example, speaking to the person making the noise).

We will keep your name and address in strictest confidence. However, the person you have made a complaint about may guess who has complained, or may approach you to ask if you have made the complaint.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How do you investigate my noise complaint?

Answer: Initially, we will write to you, within 3 working days, requesting that you complete noise diary log sheets of the problems you are experiencing. We ask that you complete these over a 14 day period. We will also write to the person you have told us is causing the disturbance advising them of the nature of your complaint and requesting them to stop the cause of disturbance. (Your details will not be disclosed).

If the log sheets indicate a problem we can assist with, we will write again to the alleged noise maker and if the problems continue, arrange to investigate further by visiting your premises and/or collecting tape recorded evidence. At the same time, we will write to you to confirm we have received the diary sheets and acted on your complaint.

We will look at all the evidence that we have collected and assess the extent of the disturbance. If we decide to take legal action in respect of your complaint, you may have to provide a statement and appear in Court as a witness. If we are satisfied that a Statutory Nuisance exists we will serve a Noise Abatement Notice (Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) on the person causing the problem. Sometimes it will be necessary for the person who causes the nuisance to carry out work. The Notice will give them some time to comply. Failure to comply with the Notice is a criminal offence.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What happens if my complaint about a noise nuisance is not substantiated, can I take my own legal action?

Answer: There are times when, despite the best efforts of our officers we cannot obtain the evidence necessary to take action in respect of a noise nuisance. This is usually due to the unpredictable or irregular nature of the noise. In such circumstances you may wish to consider taking your own legal action, and Environmental Health will assist you in this.
You will need to:
• Keep a written record of the dates, times and nature of the noise, and make the notes at the time the noise occurs. It is helpful if some indication of the effect of the noise can be included. For example, "so loud I couldn't hear my own TV".
• Give notice to the person responsible for the noise that you intend to make a complaint to the Magistrates' Court.
• Make the complaint to the Court.
• Give evidence at a court hearing.

We have a leaflet that explains the procedure in more detail, and all the necessary forms to enable you to pursue this course of action. For a copy of this leaflet, please phone 01983 823000


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What type of noises do you deal with?

Answer: Environmental Health is able to assist with noise from:
Loud music
Domestic noise such as DIY work and barking dogs
Construction site noise (outside the hours of 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays, at any time on Sundays or Bank Holidays)
Noise from pubs and clubs
Car and intruder alarms
Noise from commercial premises, including deliveries

However, the Council does not have powers to deal with noise from aircraft, railway, road traffic noise or inadequate sound insulation between properties.


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How do I make a complaint about a barking dog?

Answer: You can make a complaint either: in person, by telephone 823000, e-mail eh@iow.gov.uk or letter addressed to Environmental Health, Jubilee Stores, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2EH. Your complaint should include:- . Your name, address and a daytime phone number. The address where the noise is coming from. When and for how long the noise occurs (it will help if you have kept a written record of the times and dates when the problem has occurred). The way the noise affects you (for example, it keeps you awake). Anything you have done to try to deal with the problem (for example, speaking to the person making the noise). We will keep your name and address in strictest confidence. However, the person you have made a complaint about may guess who has complained, or may approach you to ask if you have made the complaint.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How good is the air quality on the Isle of Wight?

Answer: The air quality on the Isle of Wight is good.

Environmental Health has been monitoring air quality across its area since 2000 for levels of: Benzene; 1,3-Butadiene; Carbon monoxide; Lead; Nitrogen dioxide; Particulate Matter (PM10); and Sulphur dioxide.

Local Authorities are legally required to monitor these pollutants against standards outlined in legislation.

Air Quality Standards are concentrations recorded over a given time period, which are considered to be acceptable in terms of what is scientifically known about the effects of each pollutant on health and on the environment. They can also be used as a benchmark to indicate whether air pollution is getting better or worse.

There are no areas on the Isle of Wight where these standards have been exceeded.

Due to air quality equipment being very expensive to buy and use, screening models (e.g. Checklists, Software etc) are used to identify where there may be exceedances of standards. Accurate air quality monitoring equipment would then be used at the area to determine the actual level of pollutant. The main sources of pollution on the Isle of Wight are from traffic. Traffic data is used with DEFRA software to predict where standards may be exceeded. There are two areas where we do carry out some basic air quality monitoring. Nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes are sited at Fairlee Road, Newport, close to the cemetery entrance and the junction of Fairway/Lake Hill in Lake.

Has this FAQ answered your query?