Abatement Notice served to The Flying Circus, Newark

Posted on: Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Newark and Sherwood District Council served an Abatement Notice* on The Flying Circus, Newark on Friday 15 September 2023.  Noise nuisance is covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Section 79). The law requires that a District Council investigates any complaint it receives in relation to an environmental issue such as noise; and, where a Statutory Nuisance** is established, a District Council legally must then serve an Abatement Notice.

Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations, said: “I have seen the social media coverage surrounding this Abatement Notice, and I want to correct some of the misleading and inaccurate information that is being communicated. The Council hasn’t asked The Flying Circus to cancel events, we haven’t banned music and we haven’t removed the owner’s licence to provide entertainment.  The Abatement Notice which has been served allows the business to carry on operating, should they wish to, but requires that within three months, measures are taken to mitigate, or reduce, noise levels.

“In terms of the law, the Council has to deal with noise complaints in the same way irrespective of whether there is one complaint or 1,000. Where there is found to be a Statutory Noise Nuisance – which is determined by monitoring noise levels – the Council has a duty to act and seeks to work with the parties involved to find a solution.  If you were a resident living in your home and you were concerned about some ongoing environmental issue, whether that be noise, smells or disturbing light, for example, you would want to know that your concerns are being treated seriously and will be followed up.  That is what the Council has done in this case but sadly, it isn’t always presented that way. 

“The Council has taken significant steps prior to serving the Abatement Notice to try and resolve the complaint informally through meeting with, and corresponding with, the owners of The Flying Circus. That’s always our approach and suggestions that our actions are somehow heavy-handed is completely unjustified. We have always been willing and prepared to work with the owners and I am delighted to confirm that the owners of The Flying Circus have reached out to us this morning and we look forward to finding a workable solution with them.”

Background information relating to the noise complaint

In March 2023, the District Council received a complaint by a resident living near to The Flying Circus about noise.  Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Section 79), the District Council was required to investigate this.

Following this, the District Council met with or wrote to the owners of The Flying Circus on three separate occasions in April 2023, on 15 May 2023 and 27 July 2023.  Preferring an informal approach, it asked the owners each time to consider the complaint and to take suitable steps to reduce noise levels.

During this time, on 5 July 2023, noise monitoring equipment was placed in the complainant’s home.  Recordings confirmed that the noise levels taken constituted a Statutory Nuisance.  The complainant reported no improvement in noise levels at this time either.

On 25 August 2023, no noise reduction improvements had been implemented by The Flying Circus, and the District Council wrote to the venue*** setting out the details of the noise nuisance.  It advised that they must deal with the issue and that the District Council would welcome any discussion with the venue as to how this may be achieved.  Noise monitoring equipment was again installed.

The District Council’s licensing enforcement officers examined the noise monitoring recordings alongside a record kept by the complainant. The level of noise recorded constituted a Statutory Nuisance, as outlined in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Section 79). Therefore, as required under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Section 80), the District Council issued an Abatement Notice to The Flying Circus with an accompanying letter on Friday 15 September 2023. The notice requires action be taken to address the noise nuisance and the accompanying letter sought to suggest practical ways to do this.

The Flying Circus has three months to comply with the notice and failure to do so will result in a breach of the notice.  In three months’ time, the noise levels will be checked and if there has been no improvement, then a prosecution or fine could follow.  Should the owners wish to do so, they may appeal against the serving of the notice to the Magistrates Court.



*An Abatement Notice is a legal notice directing a person or organisation to correct a violation of a law, rule or other obligation.  It is usually issued by an authorised body such as a local authority when there is a Statutory Nuisance that exists, occurred, or is likely to recur.  This notice may require the receiver to take action to abate the nuisance, or else face legal consequences.

**Statutory Nuisance is a legal term that deals with the unreasonable interference with the ability of someone to enjoy their property.  It can include environmental, housing and public health matters, such as noise.  Statutory Nuisance is a criminal matter and requires the activity to be more than just an irritation.

***Letter hand delivered to venue.