The Environmental Health Department is responsible for providing a range of statutory and advisory services designed to protect and enhance public health and safety, and to contribute to the overall improvement in the health of the community and the quality of life for all living and working in the council area. The Environmental Health Department is responsible for enforcing a wide range of legislation.
The legislation includes Acts of Parliament, Orders in Council, Regulations, Bye-Laws and Statutory Codes of Practice. Any enforcement action taken by the Environmental Health Department is taken in accordance with its enforcement policy.
We are pleased to have attained the Quality Management System BS EN ISO 9001:2008 for the provision of the environmental health service.
Gate Lodge, Linenhall Street, Banbridge, Co. Down BT32 3EG
Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm
Environmental Health Department
T: 028 4066 0606
F: 028 4066 0651
Click on the relevant service below to find out more. Click on the service name again to close.
The Environmental Health Department deals with a range of dog control legislation which is designed to promote responsible dog ownership and to help protect the public, livestock and other animals from attacks by dogs. The main legislation is The Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 (as amended)
Dog owners should ensure that their dogs are kept on their own property to prevent straying and help to reduce the problem of dog fouling. Should you allow your dog stray then you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £80.00, and may also be liable for kennel fees or return to owner fees.
If your dog is not microchipped or licenced then you will have to pay for a licence before it can be returned.
We will investigate complaints about stray dogs; attacks on people, livestock and other animals such as dogs and cats and dog fouling.
Where sufficient evidence exists we will take formal enforcement action against an offender, for example, written warning, issue a notice requiring the dog to be controlled in a certain way, fixed penalty notice , caution or prosecution in Court.
Dog fouling is an extremely sensitive issue. The vast majority of complaints received relate to dog fouling. We want to help ensure that we can all enjoy a clean and pleasant environment free from the dog mess left by irresponsible dog owners.
Patrols of areas are carried out on a regular basis by Wardens particularly where fouling is prevalent. Dog foul bins have been provided for dog owners and we use a range of advisory and warning signage. We may also use CCTV to monitor certain problem areas from time to time.
Where we have evidence that someone has failed to clean up after their dog, we will take formal enforcement action against an offender, for example, fixed penalty notice, caution or prosecution in Court.
If you are concerned about your dog barking and causing disturbance, speak with your vet and/or a dog behaviourist.
In general everybody who owns a dog must have a dog licence.
It is a requirement that dogs are microchipped in order to apply for a dog licence. A microchipping service is provided by your local Vet, please contact them for further information.
A basic dog licence fee is £12.50, however a number of concessions may be applied for if you :
(i) Are 65 years or over;
(ii) Are in receipt of an income related benefit;
(iii) Are a member of a couple in receipt of income related benefit;
(iv) Are the owner of a dog who has been sterilised.
The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 may entitle you to a reduced dog licence fee.
To view the full new list of qualifying payments, please see here:
You may obtain a dog licence application form from Environmental Health or alternatively you may download a copy here.
Dog licence application
Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council’s online dog licensing service is now provided through a new service called Council Direct.
Before you can licence your dog you will need to create an account for Council Direct – please follow instructions given on the link below.
Residents who previously used the online dog licensing system for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon may still log in with their same details.
You can also apply for a licence for the first time or renew your existing dog licence online at Council Direct
Where we can rehome a suitable stray unclaimed or unwanted dog we make every effort to find them a home where they will be cared for. We work with local animal charities to help us with this task. If we have a dog that is suitable for rehoming we publish their details on our Facebook page or you can contact our office.
Dog Control Orders
The Environmental Health Department deals with a range of dog control legislation which is designed to promote responsible dog ownership and to help protect the public, livestock and other animals from attacks by dogs. The main legislation is The Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983.
The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council) Order 2015
Notice is hereby given that Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council has made a Dog Control Order under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 and the Dog Control Orders (Prescribed Offences and Penalties etc) Regulations (NI) 2012.
The Order will come into effect from 9th November 2015.
What we do
The Food Control service provides advice and guidance to the general public and food businesses on producing safe food. Food Control is concerned with enforcing relevant legislation relating to food safety.
Information for Consumers
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
The council supports the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) national scheme. Run in partnership with the FSA, the food hygiene rating scheme (FHRS) replaces all the different schemes being used across the UK and provide consumers with a single, easy to understand scheme.
Banbridge Business’ Food Hygiene Ratings
The Food Control service deals with all types of food related complaints. Many problems are resolved by simply providing advice to the proprietor of a food business or a manufacturer. In certain circumstances formal action may be necessary to achieve compliance with legislation. If you want to make a complaint about food you have purchased, or if you are unhappy about the premises from which you have bought food please let us know. Should you find something in your food and the offices are not open, please wrap the items carefully and place in the freezer until you can contact us.
Food Composition and Labelling
We also deal with food labelling and composition of pre packaged and open food.
The primary aim of the Environmental Health Department within this function is to prevent and control environmental pollution.
The main areas of work include:
- Air Quality Control/Management
- Noise Control
- Radiation Monitoring
- Waste and Contaminated Land
- Complaint Investigation
- Provision of Information
Standards for air quality have been established by the Government in the Air Quality Regulations (NI) 2003. Emission levels are set for a number of pollutants. Since 1997 the Council has monitored pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, particulates and sulphur dioxide at various locations throughout the District. Pollutant sources of particular interest include road traffic and domestic fuel combustion. We are also required to assess air quality to identify existing and potential areas of concern.
Emissions from certain industrial activities and installations are controlled by the council under the Local Air Pollution Prevention and Control regime. Under the system of regulation prescribed activities and installations can only operate under a permit which lays down operating conditions to ensure compliance with emission control standards. A public register of businesses regulated by the council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency is maintained by the Environmental Health Department and is available to the public. We also have powers under the Clean Air (NI) Order 1981 and the Public Health Acts to deal with polluting activities not otherwise regulated. This would include emission of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises and smoke nuisance to a neighbourhood arising from burning activities at any premises.
Noise can arise from a wide range of sources including domestic, industrial, commercial, places of entertainment and construction sites. Under the Pollution Control and Local Government (NI) Order 1978 the council has powers to deal with noise which constitutes a statutory nuisance i.e. a nuisance in law. In order to establish if a statutory nuisance exists a number of factors are taken into account. These include loudness, frequency, duration and the time of day the noise occurs. A noise which may be irritating may not necessarily be a nuisance under law.
All complaints are investigated in accordance with the Council’s complaint procedure. If a complaint involves neighbours it is always advisable to attempt to resolve the matter amicably before involving the council. Where further action is required a formal investigation may be initiated to ascertain if a nuisance exists. Noise from premises such as night clubs, pubs etc. is controlled by conditions laid down in their entertainment license issued by the council. In relation to noise from construction sites, we may insist certain operating conditions are implemented including type of equipment used, hours of operation and permitted noise levels.
You can view or download information leaflets about how to deal with noise disturbances by selecting the links below or from under ‘Publications’.
- Noise Disturbance Advice
- Constant Dog Barking Can Be Avoided
- Is your dog barking too much? (DOENI Publication)
The council is a member of the Local Authority Radiation Network (LARnet) responsible for co-ordinating radioactivity monitoring throughout the United Kingdom. We participate in a comprehensive monitoring and sampling program. Background levels of gamma radiation are measured to enable changes in levels to be detected in the event of a radiation incident. In the event of a radiation incident emergencies would be addressed under a National Response Plan.
Waste and Contaminated Land
The illegal disposal of waste on land not licensed for that purpose is dealt with by the Waste and Contaminated Land Branch of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The council has powers to require the land owner to take steps to deal with waste deposited. Complaints should be made initially to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency for further investigation.
Many people are injured each year as a result of faulty goods and the Environmental Health Department has an important role to play in ensuring the safety of consumer goods on sale in your area.
The primary piece of legislation in place to deal with unsafe goods is the Consumer Protection Act 1987. There are a wide range of regulations in place under this Act which impose safety requirements for a wide range of consumer products including the following:
- Construction Products
- Electrical Equipment
- Window Blind Cords
- Consumer Tyre Advice
- Inflatable blower fans
Guidance on Toy Safety
Everyone involved in the manufacture and sale of toys has a responsibility to ensure that toys are safe. The Chief Environmental Health Officers Group (CEHOG) has developed a number of advice leaflets for those involved in the supply chain and these are freely available by clicking on the link below.
Under the Private Tenancies Order, the landlord of a private tenancy commencing after 1 April 2007 of a property which was built before 1 January 1945 must have a fitness inspection conducted by the district council, unless it is exempt.
Where a dwelling-house does not meet the fitness standard it is subject to rent control and an appropriate rent will be determined by the Rent Officer for Northern Ireland.
To request an inspection, please complete the application form below and return it to this department.
Click here to download the application form.
Also, please be aware of the following:
- A landlord is under a legal obligation to provide their tenant with a statement of tenancy terms and a rent book within 28 days of the tenancy commencing. It is an offence if a landlord does not comply with these requirements.
- As of 25 February 2014 all private landlords must register immediately prior to the letting of a new tenancy, or where there is an existing tenancy, within 12 months. Further information in relation to this is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/landlord
- Any deposit for a private tenancy taken by you must now be protected in an approved tenancy deposit scheme. The deposit must be secured in an approved scheme within 14 days and your tenant must be informed that their deposit has been secured within 28 days. All the approved schemes are free to use. If you do not protect the deposit, or comply with the requirements of the deposit scheme, you could face a fine (up to three times the value of the deposit) or be prosecuted in court, where you could be fined up to £2,000.
The scheme also makes it illegal for you to take a deposit in any other form than money – all deposits must be monetary. The fine for taking a deposit in any other form is £500.
DSD has appointed three scheme administrators operate the schemes; each of these organisations provide both custodial and insurance schemes.
- My Deposits http://www.mydepositsni.co.uk
- The Dispute Service NI(TDS NI) http://www.tdsnorthernireland.com
- Letting Protection Service Northern Ireland (LPS NI) http://www.lettingprotectionni.com
Information for Tenants
The Council is responsible for inspecting houses that are let privately to a tenant. We have powers under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 to ensure that anything that relates to disrepair or makes the house not fit for someone to live in is dealt with by the landlord.
If you are concerned about disrepair such as dampness, leak to roof, electrical wiring defects in the house that you rent, please contact us. We investigate complaints from all tenants of private and social landlords about problems such as dampness, disrepair, leaking roof and take appropriate follow up action.
Harassment and Eviction
If you are a tenant it is an offence for a landlord or anyone acting on their behalf to harass you or your household or illegally evict you. This could include interfering with your home or your possessions or cutting off services such as water or electricity with the intention of making you leave your home.
Contact us if you have any concerns about being harassed or evicted and we can provide advice and investigate the matter.
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
The Environmental Health Department also has a responsibility to provide support to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in relation to carrying out housing inspections under the housing fitness standard.
Keep Cosy Oil Stamp Saving Scheme
What is the Keep Cosy oil stamp saving scheme?
It helps householders who use central heating oil to budget and save to buy oil. Home heating oil is cheaper when bought in larger quantities so saving over time is better than ordering small amounts on a regular basis.
Where does the scheme operate?
The scheme operates across the Armagh City,Banbridge and Craigavon Borough. Details of retail outlets selling oil stamps as part of this scheme can be found in the Keep Cosy leaflet which is available to download at the link below. The scheme is open to all householders living in this area.
How does the scheme work?
An oil stamp savings card can be obtained from one of the outlets listed inside this leaflet. Each £5 saving stamp is placed on the savings card, the card holds 40 stamps which is equivalent to £200. You can buy stamps as often as you wish, allowing you to spread the cost of your home heating oil. The savings card can then be used as payment, or part payment for your oil with oil suppliers who are part of the scheme.
How do I pay using oil stamps?
A card or a number of cards can be used as payment towards your heating oil. You do not need to fill all the stamp spaces on your card before using it to pay for your oil. The incomplete card will be accepted as part payment.
Each oil supplier taking part in the scheme operates differently. So once you are ready to order your oil, contact your preferred participating oil supplier and let them know the amount of oil you require and the value of stamps you have saved.
As participating retailers and suppliers may change, it is your responsibility to make sure you advise the oil supplier when you order the oil that you want to pay with oil stamps. It is your responsibility to agree with the oil supplier, the price, delivery method and payment.
It is important to check with your chosen oil supplier to see how they expect to receive the card. Some may accept the card on delivery of the oil but others may prefer you to submit your card to them prior to the purchase.
You cannot use stamps from other schemes on the Keep Cosy savings card.
What if I lose my card?
The council is not liable for oil stamps or oil stamp cards which are lost or stolen. Once the oil stamps have been sold, they are non-refundable from either retail outlets or from the council.
Where can I get more information?
Contact the Environmental Health Department office details are at the top of this webpage.
To download a copy of the Keep Cosy leaflet which includes details of participating retail outlets and oil suppliers please click link.
Keep Cosy Leaflet June 2016
For a copy of the Keep Cosy poster click here.
Environmental Complaints and Concerns
The Environmental Health Department will endeavour to make sure that complaints about matters over which the Council has some legal control are thoroughly investigated. For example using the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 to deal with ‘statutory nuisance’ .
Nuisance generally entails some form of damage to, or unreasonable and substantial interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of, property. However, only certain matters may constitute a statutory nuisance under the 2011 Act and these are set out in the 2011 Act
We can investigate complaints about:
- High Hedges
- Litter/fly tipping
- Graffiti and Flyposting
- Dog fouling
- Smoke nuisance
For further information or advice, please contact:
The Environmental Health Department office, details are at the top of this webpage.
If we cannot help, then we can advise you which other department or agency may be able to.
If you do make a complaint we will first ask you for some details:
- Your name, address, telephone number
- Details of the complaint.
- Any known offender
An Environmental Health Officer will then gather evidence and consider:
- legal powers
- professional guidance
Environmental Health Officers have powers to:
- enter onto any land to examine the existence of a potential nuisance
- access premises at any stage of the investigation until the nuisance has been dealt with.
Following investigation, there are a number of enforcement options:
- no further action – If a complaint is not proven
- informal action – verbal or written advice
- fixed penalty notice (where this can be used eg littering)
- formal notice – this details what has to be done to improve the problem and the time within it must be completed.
Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011
From the 2nd of April 2012, District Councils have had responsibility for enforcement of the powers in the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011, in respect of non-farmed animals’ e.g. domestic pets of any vertebrate species and equines (horses and donkeys).
Local Councils have adopted a collaborative regional approach to Animal Welfare legislation and have appointed Animal Welfare Officers to enforce animal welfare in respect of non-farmed animals only across Northern Ireland. The Officers have statutory enforcement powers and can take a range of action to improve the welfare of non-farmed animals including, providing advice, issuing an improvement notice, taking animals into their possession(in extreme cases of suffering), and initiating prosecution action. It should be emphasised that the responsibility for the welfare of any animal remains at all times with the owner or keeper of an animal. Enforcement officers will investigate complaints and ensure the owner complies with the legislation.
The enforcement officers cover the whole of Northern Ireland working on a regional basis. If you need to report an animal welfare case during office hours Monday – Friday 9am-5pm you should contact the appropriate telephone number.
For emergency animal welfare cases only between 9am and 5pm at weekends and over holiday periods contact the same number and you will be directed to an out of hours service.
Belfast City Council
Telephone: 028 9027 0431
Eastern Region –Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Ards & North Down District Council
Telephone: 028 9049 4567
Northern Region – Mid & East Antrim District Council, Causeway Coast & Glens District Council, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council
Telephone: 028 2563 3134
Southern Region – Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Newry Mourne & Down District Council
Telephone: 028 3751 5800
Western Area – Fermanagh & Omagh, Derry & Strabane, Mid Ulster
Telephone: 028 8225 6226
Welfare complaints in respect of farmed animals (that is animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or other farming purposes) should be referred to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. During office hours Monday to Friday 9am-5pm telephone – 0300 200 7840.
At weekends for farmed animal complaints contact a local Private Veterinary Practice or PSNI who will, as necessary, refer the welfare complaint to the relevant “on call” officer.
If you call relates to wildlife crime for example, badger baiting, poisoning of birds, deer poaching etc or if an animal is on the road or criminal activity please contact your local PSNI Station on 101, if urgent please call 999.
Details of the enforcement roles and contact points can be accessed using the following link:
Further information on Animal Welfare is available from DARD’s website:
Affordable Warmth Grant Scheme
Affordable Warmth Grant Scheme
If you live in Northern Ireland and you need help to pay for energy efficiency improvements you may be eligible for the government’s Affordable Warmth Scheme. The scheme provides a package of energy-efficiency and heating measures, tailored to each household.
This scheme is only available if you live in Northern Ireland and in an area being targeted by your local council.
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible if you are an owner occupier or householder of a privately rented property and your gross annual household income is less than £20,000.
In the case of privately rented property you must be named on the Tenancy Agreement. Your landlord must also be registered with the Department for Social Development’s Landlord Registration scheme and give consent for any energy efficiency improvements to be done. Your landlord will also have to contribute towards the cost of the work.
What energy efficiency measures are available?
Click here to see a prioritised list of measures available under the Affordable Warmth scheme.
Council staff will:
- contact households they have identified as being most affected by fuel poverty and ask you to complete a short survey
- send completed surveys to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)
- with your agreement request that the Social Security Agency’s ‘Make the Call’ team complete a benefit entitlement check to make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to
NIHE staff will then:
- complete a technical survey, usually within six weeks of the initial council survey being completed
- decide if you qualify for the scheme
- work with you to get energy efficiency improvement work done by local installers
- arrange payment of the grant
Once the Housing Executive has given written approval for the energy efficiency work to be done, you can either arrange for an installer of your choice or select one from a Housing Executive list to do the work.
Please note that:
- the Housing Executive list is not an approved list
- installers should normally be accredited to a relevant trade body
When the Council’s Building Control department certifies the work has been completed to Building Control Regulation standards the Housing Executive will arrange for payment to be made.
Access to the Affordable Warmth Scheme
All local councils across Northern Ireland will be targeting households identified as eligible for energy efficiency improvement work under this scheme. Areas considered most in need of energy efficiency measures will be contacted first.
Further Information on the Affordable Warmth Scheme
Telephone: 028 38313641