What we investigate
We investigate complaints about things like light, smoke and insects to see if they’re causing a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Find out more about what’s classed as a statutory nuisance on GOV.UK.
Before you report an issue to us, you might want to take your own action.
If you want to make a noise complaint, please visit our separate webpage about how to report a noise nuisance.
Report a light nuisance
If an artificial light, like a fixed security light, is causing a nuisance in your home or garden, you can report it to us for investigation.
A light is classed as a statutory nuisance if it substantially interferes with the use or enjoyment of your home.
We cannot deal with reflection or glare issues.
Report a dust nuisance
If a business premises or building site is causing excessive dust, you can report it to us for investigation.
The dust is classed as a statutory nuisance if it interferes substantially with your well-being, comfort or enjoyment inside your home.
We cannot deal with dust issues outside, like dust on cars, washing or windows.
We also cannot deal with dust from domestic premises, like dust coming from a neighbour’s home.
Report a nuisance smell
If a business is causing an odour problem in your home or garden, you can report it to us for investigation.
We cannot deal with odour issues from a domestic property, like an odour problem from a neighbour’s home.
If you smell gas you should phone the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.
Report a smoke nuisance
Bonfires or other activities that cause smoke are not illegal, but they must not cause a statutory smoke nuisance to residents nearby.
If we receive complaints about regular bonfires or excessive smoke from an address, we may investigate.
If you are concerned that a bonfire is out of control, please contact East Sussex Fire and Rescue.
Find out how to reduce the pollution from a bonfire and what you’re allowed to burn.
Smoke from commercial waste
The Environment Agency regulates burning commercial waste. They do this using the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.
We can investigate businesses for smoke nuisance. We can also take action under the Clean Air Act 1993 if they’re producing thick black smoke.
Smoke on the road
It's illegal to allow smoke to affect the driving visibility of a highway. If this happens, please contact Sussex Police.
If you notice a smoky vehicle on the road, you can report a smoky lorry or bus to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
Report an insect nuisance
We can investigate insects and flies as a nuisance if:
- they’re coming from a business’ activities
- there’s a noticeable increase in their numbers and
- it’s affecting the comfort and enjoyment of your home
We may be able to look into a residential property that has an infestation. We can only do this if the issue could cause problems to health.
Find out more about rubbish and drainage issues on private land.
Find out more about pest control and wildlife management.
The best way to contact our service is through our online environmental health report form.
If you can’t use the form, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 01273 294 266.
When you make a complaint, you’ll need to give us:
- your name
- your address
- your phone number
- the address or site where the problem is coming from
- the type of problem, and how it’s affecting you
- when and for how long the problem has happens
We will not give your name and address to the person you complained about without your permission. But they may be able to guess who you are.
It’s likely that we’d need to reveal your details if we take any legal or formal action.