The regulation team at Russell-Cooke recently represented a homeowner, Matthew McNiff, in bringing two successful prosecutions under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for breach of statutory nuisance caused by a local Boarding Kennels and Cattery.

The case revolved around the excessive noise emanating from kennels operated by the Defendant, Sharon Tidnam, who owns Low Farm Boarding Kennels and Cattery, part of which abuts the property of Mr McNiff.

After years of complaints by Mr McNiff, which were ignored by the Tidnams, he instructed the Russell-Cooke team to bring proceedings alleging a statutory nuisance as defined by sections 79 (1)(g) and 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990. The original matter was heard before District Judge Snow at Norwich Magistrates Court in July 2018. The Court found to the criminal standard (beyond reasonable doubt) that this was a statutory noise nuisance. District Judge Snow went on to make formal Orders in the matter consisting of a list of conditions that Mrs Tidnam had to comply with.

Mrs Tidnam did not carry out any remedial works to address the problem and the noise continued to the extent that Mr McNiff was forced to bring a second set of proceedings of further statutory nuisances. The second sets of proceedings were heard by District Judge Dodds at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court in July 2019, DJ Dodds even conducted a site visit.

At the sentencing hearing of the matter the defence made several references to the fact of Mr McNiff and his wife instructing Russell-Cooke as being excessive and disproportionate; that he had instructed "Rolls-Royce" lawyers instead of instructing local firms. The Judge dismissed those arguments stating that, the prosecution also had the same right as a Defendant to choose their representation and in light of the importance of the case to the McNiffs they were entitled to a Rolls-Royce service.

DJ Dodds rejected the defence counsel's assertions that prosecution's costs were disproportionate or excessive and felt a compensation order should be prioritized over a fine. He awarded a total £3000 as compensation and costs in full in the amount of £93,000 to be paid within three months.

The Russell-Cooke team consisted of partner Matt Bosworth supported by associates Semin Taner and Ashmeet Wadwa. Russell-Cooke instructed Miles Bennett of 5 Paper Buildings throughout.

Partner Matt Bosworth said: "This case was a significant one in that it shows how individuals can use the statutory framework to stop noise nuisance via the Environmental Protection Act. This safeguards their right to peaceful enjoyment of their home when all attempts to settle matters amicably have failed because of the intransigence of the offending party."