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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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We have a recirculating water outlet over our pond. Over the

Customer Question

Hi. We have a recirculating water outlet over our pond. Over the course of the year lots of leaves fall into this pond which then start to decompose. To keep the water fresh the recirculating outlet also oxygenates the water to allow the decomposition to proceed without producing odour and also so that the fish and other life forms can live in it.
The owners of our adjoining property claimed that the noise of water falling into the pond was disturbing them and complained to the council. We had the outlet repositioned and now the sound difference as measured by the council officers is 3 dB compared to the background. The council officer was happy with this and thanked us for our co-operation. Yet our neighbours are still complaining and have threatened us with taking the nuisance case to a magistrates court. I should be grateful for your views please.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.

1. Your neighbours can sue you in nuisance but they will not be successful. A noise level of 3dB is not sufficient to give rise to a successful nuisance action. This is because the law of nuisance allows a level of give and take between neighbours. One's right to quiet is not absolute. Reasonable user of a property is allowed without it constituting an actionable nuisance. In this situation, running a recirculating outlet with a noise level of 3dB is a reasonable user of land. You will not be injuncted to stop, nor will you have to pay damages. Here your neighbour is overplaying their hand. Since the action of the Council, the noise has gone from being an actionable nuisance to now being something for which the law does not provide a remedy.