Cases we've been involved with

Nuisance Cases where MAS consultants have been involved as an expert witness

Grimley Oval Raceway motor sport activity - September 2017

MAS were involved in the successful acquisition of a High Court injunction restricting racing activity at a motor sport venue. Grimley Oval Raceway is an oval circuit in the Malvern Hills area of Worcestershire. MAS and the local authority agency, Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), undertook noise monitoring and observations of racing.

The circuit is located in a rural context with a number of dwellings within around 40m from the track. The site has a history of noise complaints and regulatory intervention since the mid 1990s. Noise levels during racing were high and typically between 62-64dB LAeq,15min at the closest dwellings. The race noise included a number of characteristics including high revving, backfiring, bursts of engine and exhaust noise and tyre squeal. Previous regulatory action including prosecution had failed to restrict the noise (and nuisance) to an acceptable level. The local authority and WRS decided to apply to the High Court for an injunction.

The case was not heard by the High Court but settled through agreement of the raceway and local authority. Racing was restricted from around 14/15 events per year affecting all Bank Holiday Mondays between March and November to 9 events per year affecting only one Bank Holiday weekend. A key factor was respite from noise/events and this was written into the injunction i.e. separation of events with guaranteed periods of respite between events. Restrictions on start times for vehicles and maintenance etc. were also agreed.

MAS were also mentioned in an article in the November 2017 edition of Environmental Health News describing the case.

Ige v Catalyst Housing Limited 7th September 2015

In the City of London Magistrates Court today they dismissed an allegation of statutory nuisance following evidence of Mike Stigwood from MAS Environmental. The court stated they "found Mr Stigwood's evidence authoritative and thorough and that the health risk was minimal.  Using Mr Watkins word - potential, we conclude it unlikely under the circumstances. ... There was certainly a lot of evidence it was a community wide issue and Mr Stigwood's evidence that the Council or others put in a program of control probably contribute, therefore there is not a statutory nuisance."

This was a case where following expert evidence an action was brought against landlords Catalyst Housing Association alleging a statutory nuisance and conditions prejudicial to health as a result of a mouse infestation.  All experts agreed there was an infestation but not as to the cause of who was responsible.  The court agreed with Mr Stigwood that cause and responsibility did not fall to the Landlord but in any event the infestation was not bad enough to reach a point where the risk of infection or illness was probable or likely to occur. The court accepted there was a probability argument to be considered and the mere presence of a mouse infestation was not enough to conclude conditions were prejudicial to health. 

Evacrown Ltd v Wycombe District Council - December 2014

An appeal against an abatement notice served by Wycombe District Council on an Indian Restaurant. The Magistrates Court considered the notice a nullity due to defective wording. Daniel Baker provided expert evidence for the Appellant.

Planning Appeals / Inquiries with which MAS Consultants have given evidence

Land off St Helen’s Avenue, Benson (RAF Helicopters) - August 2017

The planning application for a new housing development near a noisy RAF airfield was dismissed after South Oxfordshire District Council argued against it with the help of Daniel Baker and the team at MAS Environmental.  The case was mentioned on the front page of the October edition of Noise Bulletin.

Lisnaskea Wind Turbine planning appeal - June 2016

The planning appeal for the installation of a wind turbine was refused with the help of Sarah Large who provided analysis of the Noise Impact Assessment’s failings, prediction of the potential risk of noise and she appeared at the hearing presenting evidence.  It was decided that the 'considerable wider environmental, economic and social benefits associated with the appeal proposal' were insufficient to outweigh the significant detrimental impacts on residential amenity.      

Fracking Public Inquiry, Blackpool – February 2016

A recent reporting on the evidence of Mike Stigwood at the Cuadrilla Planning Inquiry concluded that “[Ms Lieven for Cuadrilla] tried another couple of angles and arguments, but this was a confident witness who could both see the big picture and he had mastery of the detail of the arguments that was second to none.

To us it seemed clear that Mr Stigwood had a much better understanding and grasp of the matter of noise than the evidence that had been prepared and presented by Dr Hiller for Cuadrilla, and Ms Lieven was therefore struggling to make any headway, with or without Dr Hiller at her elbow.

Like all such single minded experts, he was on a mission to explain all the ramifications of what he is telling you. That resulted in him appearing not simply to answer questions, but to give a lecture on that topic - a process that he was revelling in, and thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to explain his fascinating topic to all who would listen.”

To view the full article please click here

European Metal Recycling Ltd v Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council - September 2014

An appeal by EMR Ltd against a refusal of planning permission for a steel stockholding and metal recycling facility. The application was refused based on a perception of noise impact on existing commercial premises and visual impact. Permission was granted on appeal by the planning inspector following a one day hearing. Daniel Baker provided expert evidence on noise for the Appellant.

Cases prior to 2011 involving Mike Stigwood

Nuisance Cases prior to 2011 involving Mike Stigwood

Lawrence & Anor v Fen Tigers Ltd & Others - 4th March 2011

View the judgement.

An action for nuisance in the High Court involving motor-sport noise.  Nuisance was found and decibel limits were set of 45dB LAeq, 15min during the day and 37dB LAeq, 15min in the evening.  The judgement considered in detail the application of the WHO Guidelines as a benchmark for nuisance and effectively rejected reliance on their guideline values as a level below which nuisance cannot arise.  Mike Stigwood acted for the complainant.

Firth Rixson Forgings v Derbyshire Dales District Council - 2010

An action for nuisance in the Magistrates court involving a large industrial press.  Nuisance was found in the magistrates court but not during the normal working day.  On appeal to the Crown Court the Order was varied to allow more flexible working periods.  Mike Stigwood acted for the appellant.

Bontoft and others and East Lindsey District Council 2008

An action for nuisance by noise in the High Court.  Mike Stigwood acted as expert witness for the claimant’s.  This was a case of intrusion by exiting refuse collection vehicles from a depot in Manby which occurred early in the morning.  The claim of nuisance was upheld.

Elvington Park Ltd. v York City Council 2008

An appeal against a Noise Abatement Notice relating to motor sport noise, heard in York Crown Court.  Mike Stigwood acted as expert witness for the respondents.  The court upheld the finding of nuisance.

Watson, Watson and Wilson and Croft Promo-Sport Ltd. 2008

An action for nuisance in the High Court.  Mike Stigwood acted as expert for the claimant’s although was not called to give evidence in the end as the level of intrusion was accepted by the defendants.  

Roper v Tussauds Group 2004 & 2005 (Alton Towers)

View the judgement. (Requires Acrobat Reader)

North Staffordshire Magistrates Court, subsequent de novo appeal at the Stoke on Trent Crown Court followed by further challenges in the High Court.  This was a private nuisance prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 involving a number of noise sources.  I acted as the prosecutions principal expert witness at both hearings where the allegation of nuisance was upheld.  Prosecution appeals to the High Court were partially successful.   

R (oao Harlow) v South Cambridgeshire DC 2005 CoA

This was a Judicial Review of the Council’s assessment of a noisy site using British Standard 4142.

Dennis v MOD 2003 EWHC 793 (QB)

View the transcript. (At richardbuxton.co.uk)

This was a private nuisance action in the High Court arising as a result of noise from military aircraft.

Hewlings v McLean Homes East Anglia Ltd  2001 2 All ER 281. 

This was a Section 82 private prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which involved building site noise and validity and wording of the notice.

Cambridge City Council v Douglas 2001 Env LR 41. 

This case was concerned with the wording of the Environmental Protection Act section 80 notice and related to noise from a public house.  I gave evidence for the appellant against the actions of the Local Authority.

Planning Appeals / Inquiries prior to 2011 involving Mike Stigwood

In most cases Mike Stigwood has given evidence as a noise or environmental health expert but in a number of Inquiries, some unrelated to noise (i.e. lawful development, planning merit) Mike Stigwood has presented the appellants case. The main cases Mike Stigwood has been involved in previous years include:

Linton Wind Farm 2010

This was a planning appeal against refusal of a wind farm application.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of the two local authorities.

Cotton Farm Wind Farm 2010

This was a planning appeal against refusal of a wind farm proposal.  Mike Stigwood gave noise evidence on behalf of third party objectors.

Airfield Farm Podington 2010

This was an appeal against non-determination of a wind farm.  The appeal was dismissed on noise grounds.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of the Local authority Bedford Borough Council.

Elvington v York City Council 2009

This was an Enforcement Notice Appeal regarding motor sport noise.  The appeal was upheld.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence for the Local Authority.

Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Harborough District Council 2009

This was an Enforcement Notice Appeal regarding motor sport activities.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence for the Local Authority.

Bradwell-on-Sea wind farm 2009

This was an appeal against non-determination of a wind farm application.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of a third party objector.  The appeal was upheld.  It is subject to Judicial Review.

Den Brook wind farm 2009

This was an appeal following a successful Judicial Review of the previous decision to approve the development.  The development was subsequently approved but incorporated a condition to control Excess Amplitude Modulation promoted by Mike Stigwood.  The decision was further appealed but upheld in August 2010 in the High Court.  Application to appeal to the Court of appeal has now been made.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of the Judicial Review group.

Bickham and Three Moors Wind farm Appeal 2009

Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of third party objectors.  The appeal was refused.

North Dover (Enifer Downs) Wind farm Appeal 2009

Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of third party objectors.  The appeal was refused.

Shipdham Wind Farm Appeal 2009

This was a reconvened Inquiry following a successful Judicial Review.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence on behalf of the third party objectors.  The appeal was dismissed.

Elsham Wind Farm - 2006

This was a proposal for a new wind farm in North Lincolnshire. Mike Stigwood was presenting noise evidence for the local planning authority.

Cambridgeshire Guided Bus - 2005

This was a proposal for a new guided busway following the old Huntingdon to Cambridge railway line. Mike Stigwood was representing Histon and Impington Parish Council giving evidence in relation to noise impact on the village and cross-examination of witnesses in relation to noise.

Manor Farm Barns Thurleigh Beds - 2004

Proposed residential development adjacent to farm haulier. Giving evidence on behalf of Beds BC.

Erection of detached house Catworth - 2003

Giving evidence in relation to noise impact of behalf of applicant against Huntingdonshire DC.

Wyboston Residential Centre - 2003

Giving evidence in relation to grain dryer and farming activities adjacent proposed development on behalf of applicant against Bedford BC.

Quarry Wester Lairgs Strathnairn - 2002

Giving evidence of behalf of the Friends of the Earth in relation to noise impact on the locality.

69 London Road Wollaston - 2002

Giving evidence on behalf of developer impact upon daylight at existing development.

4 South Grove Camden - 2001

Giving evidence on behalf of Camden BC in relation to noise impact from extended hours of operation of restaurant.

Montells Nightclub Tewkesbury - 2000

Giving evidence for Tewkesbury DC in relation to appeal against condition on noise.

Fullers Hill Airfield South Cambridgeshire - 1999

Enforcement Notice appeal. Giving evidence for resident group and cross-examination of noise experts.

Other cases where Mike Stigwood has either prepared proofs but not given oral evidence because appeals were either withdrawn or dealt with by written representations include, Wind Farm noise, Helicopter noise and Restaurant / Takeaway noise. Mike Stigwood has also presented evidence or the client's case at Minerals planning and landfill plan inquiries and for a Caravan site.

DIRECTORS
Mike Stigwood
& Terri Stigwood

TELEPHONE
01223 441671
or 01223 510430

BUSINESS ADDRESS
14 South Road,
Impington,
Cambs, CB24 9PB

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