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( Article Type: Explanation )

In environmental terms, a nuisance is something that causes irritation and distress (e.g. a bad smell, or a loud or piercing noise, or a continuously barking dog) but not necessarily to the degree that it contravenes laws or regulations. There are municipal by-laws which control nuisances such as burning rubbish in back gardens, playing portable radios loudly in public places, and barking dogs but these are often quite difficult to enforce in practice. Once again, what is a nuisance to one person may be perfectly acceptable to another. It is difficult to quantify nuisance. The best way to manage nuisance is for people to discuss actions that cause each other irritation and to try resolving differences of opinion to everyone’s satisfaction. This is not easy and not everyone will be satisfied as different people have different levels of nuisance tolerance. However, communities must try and reach a consensus where most people are reasonably satisfied.

Associated Organisations:

Annegarn Environmental Research