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Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection

Our objective is to ensure that with our partners, the borough maintains its high quality environment and the adverse impact of pollution upon health is minimised. We also deal with a wide range of statutory nuisance complaints including, but not restricted to, noise disturbance, artificial light and dust.

A nuisance is classed as a disturbance which substantially interferes with a person’s use or enjoyment of property. Details of what classes as a statutory nuisance are set out in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 

Examples include smoke from the burning of materials, smells from trade processes, excessive dust, artificial light glare or overspill. Officers from the Environmental Health Department can offer advice on whether any specific issue may constitute a nuisance

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. The Investigating Officer will ensure the complaint is thoroughly investigated.

An Environmental Health Officer will gather evidence and consider:

  • legislation
  • legal powers
  • 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
  • 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 e.g. littering)
  • formal notice – this details what has to be done to improve the problem and the time within which it must be completed.

If you wish to discuss a potential nuisance or make a complaint please contact us.

While we must accept a certain degree of noise in our daily lives there are some types of noise that are unacceptable. We will investigate nuisance complaints relating to both domestic and commercial premises. Every year we respond to over 800 noise nuisance complaints. The main complaints are:

  • Barking Dogs
  • Construction Site Noise
  • Entertainment Noise
  • Industrial / Commercial
  • Intruder Alarms
  • Noise in the Street

Many noise complaints can be resolved informally by approaching the person responsible for the noise. It is not unusual for them to be unaware that they are disturbing you.

However, it may be unwise to make a complaint in the heat of the moment when you are tired, frustrated or angry. It is better to wait until later when the matter can be discussed calmly. However, informal solutions do not always work and people may have to resort to more formal ways of dealing with the problem.

If you wish to make a complaint please contact us.

Clean air is essential for health and an important part of protecting the environment. To ensure good air quality it is important that public authorities at the regional, national and even international level work together

In the UK, a National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS) describes the plans drawn up by the Government and devolved administrations to improve and protect ambient air quality in the UK in the medium term.

As part of the wider strategy each local authority is required to review air quality periodically. In 2016, this council monitored the levels of nitrogen dioxide at 28 locations across the borough as well as maintaining an automated monitoring station at Lonsdale Road in Armagh which continuously measures the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.

Air quality across the borough is very good, however a number of discrete pockets exist where persons may be exposed to higher levels of pollution, primarily due to road traffic. The council is working along with our partners such as DAERA to improve the air pollution in these areas.

Smoke Control Zones were created to control the emissions of smoke from homes due to burning coal.  Properties within these zones are only permitted to use authorised smokeless fuels for their heating and cooking appliances. Smoke Control Zones have helped deliver a dramatic improvement in sulphur dioxide levels in urban areas.

Within the borough there are smoke control areas within Armagh, Lurgan, Portadown and Central Craigavon. The occupier of any building in a Smoke Control Area from which smoke is emitted is guilty of an offence under the Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 and the council will investigate any such incidents.

The Local Air Pollution Prevention and Control regime aims to control air pollution generated by certain industrial activities. These processes are required to obtain a permit in order to operate and allows the holder to operate a process subject to specific conditions which prevent excessive pollution. The council has a programme of inspection for all permitted processes within the borough.

A public register exists which may be inspected upon request.