Air pollution and odours

Our Environmental Protection Unit can help with problems in the area relating to some odours and smells, including:

  • industrial and commercial odours
  • muck or slurry spreading activities
  • cooking odours from restaurants and take-aways

Since parts of York are rural in nature some agricultural odours can be expected across the city from time to time. We can only investigate when such odours are considered particularly offensive, prolonged in nature or where best practice guidelines for dealing with muck and slurry are not adhered to.

Making a complaint about odours

We're unable to deal with complaints about odours from domestic properties unless they relate to fumes or gases from faulty heating appliances.

However, we can help with bonfires, smoky chimneys and smelly deposits/accumulations, including rubbish.

How to report a problem

Please contact us by telephone or email; our office hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm. We will respond to you as soon as possible and within 3 working days.

You will need to provide:

  • your name, full address and contact details (we cannot accept anonymous complaints, but your details will be kept confidential)
  • the address you are complaining about
  • information about the odour nuisance, such as cause, duration, frequency
  • details of the odour nuisance effect on you

In response to your complaint we will contact the person responsible for the odour, asking them to address the problem. At the same time we'll either visit you or send diary sheets to be completed.

If the problem is not resolved by our initial contact with the person responsible, you'll need to let us know and return the completed diary sheets. A visit will then be arranged to assess the odour levels.

Reporting other odours

Natural gas odours should be reported to the National Gas Emergency Service on tel: 0800 111999.

Smelly blocked drains should be first reported to your Customer Centre.

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