House of Lords reins in statutory nuisances

In what appears to be its first decision on the statutory nuisance provisions contained in the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the House of Lords has, by a small majority, placed a restrictive interpretation on the scope of the controls. The case concerned washing facilities in a house, but the decision has wider implications for environmental law - not least in applying a brake on local authorities using the statutory nuisance procedure to impose responsibilities on those who design or let buildings with sub-standard noise insulation.

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