Skip to main content

You are here


Most people are now aware of the importance of the Environment and protecting the Planet from damage from many sources such as flooding, fires, dust, noise, vibration and odours.  UK Environmental Law is very complex and fast changing and legal precedents are still very thin on the ground. 

The major issues you should be aware of are;

  1. Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Schemes which places a limit on the amount of Emissions a Company can produce
  2. Energy sources and the focus on renewable sources for all businesses.
  3. Corporate Responsibility and how to minimise impacts to the environment.  This is very important when tendering for work as most companies expect you to have a Corporate Responsibility programme.

The legal environment encompasses domestic laws and regulations as well as European law which makes understanding and adhering to the law even more complex.  Ensuring compliance however is becoming more and more important as there are potentially civil and criminal liabilities for businesses who are defending a claim

Commercial companies and particularly those working in environmentally sensitive industries must always be mindful of the legal requirements placed upon them by the law.  Nuisance claims can result in payments of damages to the party who has been affected by the environmental problem, as well permanent orders for the nuisance to be abated.

Some of the principles governing the Environmental law are as follows;

  1. Principle of Sustainable Development
  2. Polluter Pays Principle - that polluters should pay for the environmental harm they cause
  3. Preventative Principle - that pollution or other environmental harm should be prevented as opposed to remedied
  4. Integration Principle – that environmental protection requirements should be embedded in businesses from the outset
  5. Generational Integration – that current generations owe future generations a duty to conserve environmental resources.

Most nuisance litigation is brought under the law of private nuisance which protects an individual’s right to the enjoyment of their property.  Firstly the statutory regulator who is most likely the Environment Agency or your local authority would be made aware that your business is causing a nuisance.  If litigation follows there will be a vast amount of evidence brought before the courts to ascertain whether the complaint is genuine or not.

Similarly Environmental Claims can be brought against Companies who have failed to carry out the necessary consultations and risk assessments when implementing developments, particularly of building land.  Everything from flora and fauna to noise and vibration damage will be under scrutiny.

Where a breach occurs creating a nuisance or potential damage to the environment dealing with rectification or fighting erroneous accusations can cost an enormous amount of money.  As a result this could have far reaching ramifications for your business and the Directors of your business. 

If there is any possibility of a prosecution or your business has been adversely affected by a neighbours breach you will need the assistance of a specialist lawyer to defend a claim or seek damages.


Please Note: This document is for general information only. It is not legal advice and should not be acted or relied on as being so. It does not create a solicitor-client relationship between Temple Legal Solutions Ltd and any other person. Legal advice should be taken before applying any information in this document to any facts and circumstance.

If you contact Temple Legal Solutions or call 01483 514814 to make an initial enquiry, you will then referred to an appropriate, experienced law firm.