Environment Health service standards

Find out what the Environmental Health department does, including licensing policies, how they work with businesses and how to provide feedback to the team.

What our Environmental Health service does

Food safety

For food safety, we cover:

  • hygiene standards
  • food safety
  • imported foods
  • food related illnesses
  • Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Environmental protection

For environmental protection, we cover:

  • noise and nuisance
  • investigating local air pollution control
  • contaminated land strategy
  • local air quality strategy

Public health

For public health, we cover:

  • infectious disease investigation
  • healthy workplaces
  • health checks
  • health trainers
  • tobacco control

Our priorities are to:

  • protect the public, businesses and the environment from harm
  • support the local economy and help it grow and prosper

We're committed to being transparent in our work and we publish our performance data annually.

How we work

We carry out all our activities in a way that supports those we regulate, and make sure that information and guidance is available to help them meet their statutory obligations. We provide advice that is tailored to particular needs and circumstances.

Food safety  

Health and safety

Licensing - Locally Developed Risk Based Inspection Programme

The council's Licensing team operate a risk rate inspection programme where premises are inspected to ensure they are conforming to the conditions of their licence.

They're score rated against a number of risk factors including: 

  • type of business
  • operating hours
  • location
  • capacity
  • confidence in management
  • enforcement and complaint history
  • control measures in place

How often we re-inspect depends on whether the premises scores a high, medium or low risk rating.

What a statutory nuisance is

Statutory nuisances include:

  • smoke, fumes or gases from any premises
  • dust, steam or smells from business premises
  • accumulations or deposits
  • animals which are badly kept
  • noise or vibration
  • artificial light
  • insects

All complaints are investigated in line with statutory duties. 

We deal proportionately with breaches of the law, as set out in our Environmental Health enforcement policy.

Our services are delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Regulators' code (PDF 151KB).

Working with businesses and others we regulate

You can expect, and will receive, an efficient and professional service from us.

Our team of officers will:

  • be courteous and polite
  • always identify themselves by name and provide contact details
  • seek to gain an understanding of how your business operates and the pressures you face
  • provide details of how to discuss any concerns you may have
  • agree time-scales, expectations and preferred methods of communication with you
  • make sure that you're kept informed of progress on any outstanding issues

Your business may also be be receiving help and advice from other organisations, and we will do our best to work with them to make sure you receive the best service.

Helping you to get it right

We want to work with you to help your business become a success. It's important that you can come to us for advice. 

Our aim is to help you solve any problems you may be having, rather than taking enforcement action against you. 

We can:

  • provide advice that supports compliance and can be relied on
  • provide advice that's appropriate for your circumstances and which is not overly burdensome
  • provide clear advice that can be easily understood and implemented
  • distinguish legal requirements from suggested good practice
  • acknowledge good practice and compliance
  • make sure that any verbal advice you receive is confirmed in writing if requested

We don't currently charge for this advice.

Licensing policies

2017 to 2018 licence fees

Inspections and other compliance visits

We monitor and support compliance in a number of ways, including through:

  • inspections
  • sampling visits
  • test purchases
  • advisory visits
  • complaint investigations

These visits will always be based on an assessment of risk. You'll be given notice that we intend to visit, unless we have specific reason to believe that an unannounced visit is more appropriate.

When we visit you, an officer will:

  • explain the reason and purpose of the visit
  • carry their identification card at all times and present it on request
  • exercise discretion in front of your customers and staff
  • be aware of how you approach compliance within your business, and use this information during future interactions with you
  • provide advice to help you meet your statutory obligations where required
  • provide a written record of the visit

Responding to non-compliance

Where we identify any failure to meet legal obligations, we will respond proportionately, taking account of the circumstances, in line with our licensing enforcement policy (PDF 119KB).

Where we need you to take action to fix any failings we will:

  • explain the nature of the non-compliance
  • discuss what is required to achieve compliance, taking into account your circumstances
  • clearly explain any advice, actions required or decisions that we have taken
  • agree timescales that are acceptable to both you and us, in relation to any actions required
  • provide in writing details of how to appeal against any advice provided, actions required or decisions taken, including any statutory rights to appeal
  • explain what will happen next, including any timescales
  • keep in touch with you, where required, until the matter is resolved

Requests for our service

We respond to requests for assistance, including requests for advice and complaints about breaches of the law.

We will:

  • acknowledge your request within 5 to 10 working days, depending on the nature of the request
  • tell you when you can expect a substantial response that's based on facts
  • seek to fully understand the nature of your request
  • explain what we may or may not be able to do, so you know what to expect
  • keep you informed of progress throughout our involvement
  • provide clear advice where appropriate
  • inform you of the outcome as appropriate

Target response times

Officers aim to meet the following standards:

  • most requests - 5 working-days
  • non-urgent enquiries - 10 working-days
  • certain specified emergencies - one working-day
  • noise complaints - 4 working-days
  • target resolution time for noise complaints is 60 working days

Please be aware that a risk based judgement will be made by officers to determine whether a more prompt response is required.

Safer Communities Enforcement Policy

You can read our enforcement policy here.

Contact us

To contact us, you can:

We'll work with you in the most appropriate way to meet your individual needs. We can make information available in different formats, and have access to translation and interpretation services.

If you contact us, we will ask you for your name and contact details to enable us to keep in touch with you, and to keep you updated as the matter progresses. 

Your details are kept confidential and not passed on to anyone else without your permission. Generally, our officers will not deal with anonymous complaints.

Personal data will be managed in accordance with Brighton & Hove City Council's Data Protection Policy.

Our team

We have a dedicated team of officers who have the appropriate qualifications, skills and experience to deliver the services provided. Where specialist knowledge is required in an area outside of our expertise, we can call on additional resources as necessary.

Working with others

Our Environmental Health service works closely with other council services and our aim is to provide a streamlined service to you.

We are part of a much wider regulatory system in Brighton & Hove, with other regulators such as the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Sussex Police, The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

This allows us to deliver a more joined-up and consistent service. This includes sharing information and data on compliance and risk, where the law allows, to help target regulatory resources.

Have your say

Complaints and appeals - we're always willing to discuss with you the reasons why we have acted in a particular way, or have asked you to act in a particular way.

You can contact the Head of Regulatory Services at Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton, BN1 1JP or send an email to ehl.environmentalprotection@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

We manage complaints about our service through Brighton and Hove City Council’s Corporate Complaints Policy.

To get in touch, you can:

The Food Standards Agency have set up an external appeal process for businesses to pursue if they are not happy with the decisions/actions of any local authority. This was a recommendation made by a government review.


Your input helps us to make sure that our service is meeting your needs. We would like to hear from you, whether your experience has been good or in need of improvement.

We regularly send out customer satisfaction surveys, the results of which can be viewed here:

We always welcome feedback. To give us feedback, you can:

Any feedback that we receive will be acknowledged, considered and responded to.

Developing our service with you

There are a number of groups that we consult with to ensure that we are delivering our service to meet your needs. We're always happy to welcome new members to these groups.

We currently work with the following:

  • Licensing consultative groups
  • Licensing Strategy Group
  • Taxi Forum
  • Local Action Teams

If you're interested in finding out more about the work of these groups, please visit Safe in the City or contact us using the contact details above.