Freedom caravan and camping club
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Natural England exempted organisation

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Can neighbours object to our site

Exempted organisation are obliged to ensure neighbours, local residents or other road users do not suffer nuisance or undue disturbance as a result of the operation of an exempted campsite. Before issuing an exemption to a site applicant, the club must ensure that the likelihood of nuisance or undue disturbance is assessed.

Where there is likely to be statutory nuisance or severe disturbance, a certificate would not normally be issued. where disturbance is assessed as moderate, neighbours would normally be consulted about the site and if no concerns were raised the certification would not be inhibited by this factor. Concerns raised by neighbours will be considered in relation to the issuing of a certificate, this may not prevent the issuing of an exemption but may put condition on the certificate to limit the disturbance affected on neighbours, local residents or other road users.

What legislation applies to neighbours of UK caravan and campsites

This act sets out the criteria for assessing statutory nuisance.

This article sets out rights of respect for privacy and family life.

Removed 16/04/2021 - The club is not a public body, therefore is not accountable under the HRA.

Types of nuisance and undue disturbance:

  • Noise
  • Light
  • Visual imposition
  • Disruption to access

Noise

There are 3 type of noise nuisance the club would consider in our assessment, Statutory nuisance during day hour, statutory nuisance during night hours and undue disturbance.

Sites certified by Freedom Camping Club would not be expected to allow a noise source to exceed 100 dBA during day hours and 60 dBA at night on a reoccurring basis. 100 dBA would be equivalent to a portable stereo at full volume and 60 dBA would be equivalent to a normal talking voice.

Statutory nuisance in the day

In order for noise to be considered nuisance during day hour ( 7am -11pm ) the noise would have to be:

  • unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
  • injure health or be likely to injure health

Where a site would be likely to cause statutory nuisance the application would not normally be acceptable.

Sites where neighbouring dwellings are within 10m of a site and there is no fence or screening, would be considered likely to cause statutory nuisance.

Statutory nuisance at night

Noise from a site would be considered statutory nuisance where noise would exceed 34 dBA inside a neighbouring property, or 10 dBA above normal noise levels, where normal noise would exceed 24 dBA. Normal noise levels may be due to road traffic, rivers or other persistent sources.

Where a site would be likely to cause statutory nuisance the application would not normally be acceptable.

Sites would not be expected to allow noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am which would exceed 60 dBA and thus would not be likely to cause statutory nuisance. Any site found to be allowing noise above 60 dBA at source, during night hours and thus increasing risk of statutory nuisance would not be supported by the club.

Undue disturbance

Undue disturbance is not a legally defined term, however the club would consider undue disturbance to be disturbance which would substantially affect the normal daily lives of local resident / neighbours.

Where undue disturbance is likely to occur the club will consult with affected neighbours / local residents and consider comments which may be put forwards. Where a neighbour confirms that a site is likely to cause undue disturbance, the club would seek to identify a remedy to reduce the level of disturbance. Where a suitable remedy can not be established a site would not normally be accepted.

The club would consider noise levels between 24-34 dBA measured from inside a neighbouring dwelling at night and noise levels in excess of 44 dBA measured within the curtilage of a dwelling during the day to be considered undue disturbance.

Noise dissipation is a complex equation with many variable factors. In order to identify potential undue disturbance or statutory nuisance, we have compiled a table of predicted noise levels with default factors. If you are unsure whether your neighbour is likely to be affected by your site, please use the table as a guide. Remember this is a guide for identify potential risk and would not be used in defence of a complaint where noise levels have been substantiated. Noise dissipation table.

 

Light

Light pollution may be considered as statutory nuisance where artificial light from vehicles, torches, security lights, decorative lights and light effects including laser shows would illuminate a neighbouring property with the affect to :

  • unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
  • injure health or be likely to injure health

Light that can be seen from a neighbouring property would not normally be considered as statutory nuisance or undue disturbance.

Where vehicle lights are likely to illuminate a neighbouring property on a fixed route or exiting from a site, this may be considered undue disturbance and the club would generally consult with neighbours.

Where there is clear line of sight within a distance of 50m it is likely that torches will illuminate a neighbouring property and cause undue disturbance or in worse cases, statutory nuisance. Normally a site would be ask to plant hedging or erect a fence to prevent disturbance.

Where there is clear line of sight with properties between 50 - 100 m, the club will consult with affected neighbours / local residents and consider comments which may be presented. Where a neighbour confirms that the site is likely to cause undue disturbance, the club would seek to identify a remedy to reduce the level of disturbance.

 

Visual imposition

Visual imposition would not normally be considered statutory nuisance but may constitute undue disturbance. Where clear line of sight exist into windows of neighbouring properties from less than 100m the club may ask for hedge planting or a fence to be installed.

Where a fence or hedge planting would not remedy the visual imposition the neighbour would be invited to comment on the possible disturbance and any valid objection may result in an application being disapproved.

Where there is no clear line of sight or the distance to a neighbouring dwelling would be greater than 100m we would not consider this to be likely to cause undue disturbance.

The view of a site from outside would not normally constitute undue disturbance, however where a site would significantly detract from a natural landscape, consideration will be given to the suitability of the site.

 

Disruption to access

Disruption to access may cause undue disturbance if a local resident or other road user is likely to be held up or prevented from going about their normal business on a regular basis.

Where a site is situated on a single track road, shared with multiple other properties for a reasonable distance the club would normally consult with each property on the access route.

Where access to a site is on a single track road for a significant distance we would not normally accept an application for caravan use but tent camping may be acceptable.

Twin track roads or single track with regular passing places would not normally constitute undue disturbance.

* Unadopted roads. Access to a site via an unadopted road with a shared maintenance agreement would require the site to accept proportional cost. The club would not accept a site where additional cost of maintenance would increase cost to other local residents.

 

Mitigating circumstances

Public highways / right of way crossing clear line of sight

Where a public highways / right of way interrupts the clear line of sight to a neighbouring property there would be an expected level of disturbance which would decrease the overall level of impact from a site.

Density of dwellings

Where an impacted neighbour is close to other properties the impact of the site will be considered to have less significance than a neighbour that is a solitary dwelling.

Public holidays / national events

Where it is normal to celebrate a public holiday or national event, noise and light pollution may be accepted at higher than normal levels. Events such as bonfire night, new years eve and royal weddings are examples of such events.

Scale and degree of screening

Solid wall screening will be considered to give higher protection against undue disturbance than that of sporadic hedgerows. Consideration should be given to type and density of screening materials.