Clause 86 - Deferral of duty to serve abatement notice

Part of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 27th January 2005.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:15 pm, 27th January 2005

This provision arises from a request by local authorities. The intention is to allow them to take alternative steps to resolve noise nuisance problems in cases where they think it appropriate to do so. At present, if a local authority concludes that a statutory nuisance exists, it has no option but to serve an abatement notice; it cannot do other things, such as holding discussions or exploring alternatives, that might lead to a resolution without the serving of a notice.

In some circumstances, serving an abatement notice can make matters worse and make arguments more difficult to resolve. In such cases, local authorities will be able to defer issuing an abatement notice for seven days to try to resolve the problem by further discussion. There is no requirement on the authority to   pursue this alternative route; delaying for the seven days is not an obligation or a right in respect of those on whom a notice may be served; it simply gives the authority more flexibility.

An abatement notice must still be served if the nuisance is not abated within or after the seven-day period. I hope that that provides the clarification that the hon. Lady seeks.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 86 ordered to stand part of the Bill.