When someone brings a complaint to the attention of the Environmental Health Department, the date, name, address, telephone number and details of the complaint are recorded (click to make a complaint ).
The Investigating Officer will ensure the complaint is thoroughly investigated. The Environmental Health Officer must gather evidence and consider legislation, legal powers and professional guidance.
The complaint investigation will be recorded in a file unique to that complaint.
Environmental Health Officers have powers to enter onto any land to examine the existence of a potential nuisance. An Officer may access the premises at any stage of the investigation until the nuisance has been dealt with.
The definition of statutory nuisance is contained in the Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878 as amended by the Pollution Control and Local Government (NI) Order 1978, and the Clean Air (NI) Order 1981 and covers a wide range of items e.g premises, watercourses, animals, accumulation or deposits of material, gases, dust and vapours.
If any person intentionally obstructs an Officer from carrying out their duties, the person may be liable to a fine.
ACTIONS THAT CAN BE TAKEN
Following investigation, there are a number of enforcement options available to the Investigating Officer:
a) No further Action - If a Statutory Nuisance does not exist
b) Informal Action - Verbal or written advice.
c) Formal Notice - This details the nature of the nuisance, the works necessary to abate the nuisance and the time in which the notice is to be complied with.
Failure to comply with a statutory Notice can result in the matter being heard in the Magistrates' Court.