Statement on The Ark Animal Rescue and Retirement Home

An investigation in to an allegation of noise nuisance from barking dogs at the Ark Animal Rescue and Retirement Home has been carried out by officers of the Council.

Following a thorough investigation the council has reached the point where the body of evidence indicated that there was noise amounting to a statutory nuisance under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. As a result of this and all of the evidence collated the Council's legal position was such that officers were duty bound to serve notice, this is because the act states that:-

where a local authority is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or recur, in the area of the authority, the local authority shall serve a notice ("an abatement notice") imposing all or any of the following requirements—

(a)requiring the abatement of the nuisance or prohibiting or restricting its occurrence or recurrence;

(b)requiring the execution of such works, and the taking of such other steps, as may be necessary for any of those purposes,

and the notice shall specify the time or times within which the requirements of the notice are to be complied with.

East Lindsey District Council is not seeking to close the Ark. An abatement notice is not designed to forcibly close a premises. Its purpose is to direct the recipient to take whatever steps they feel is necessary to reduce the impact of an issue (in this case dog barking) to a level which would not cause a statutory nuisance. There are many ways this can be achieved and, although this is a legal process, officers can still provide a degree of advice and guidance to the recipient as to what extent any proposed methods are likely to achieve compliance with the notice.

The main  key points to bear in mind in respect of this matter are:-

  • The notice can be appealed by the recipient at which point the courts decide if the Council has acted correctly. In the event of an appeal the notice will be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.
  • The notice does not require no barking from the site, that would be impossible.
  • The notice does not close the site down or impose any immediate legal penalty.
  • The notice has a "lead time" of 5 months to allow different means of compliance to be worked out and/or works to be done to reduce the level of noise from the site.