Noise nuisances and relevance of international guidelines

The Court of Appeal has warned against courts blindly applying international guidelines in judging whether noise levels are sufficient to be an actionable nuisance in law.

Murdoch and another v Glacier Metal Co Ltd (Times Law Report, 21 January 1998) concerned a civil action in nuisance brought by the plaintiffs who lived close to the defendant's factory near Ilminster, Somerset. They complained of a fluctuating low droning noise which disturbed their sleep.

At the original trial, the judge had found the plaintiffs to be genuine complainants whose lives had been affected by the disturbance. But in deter

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