"Like Second-class Citizens in a Third World Country" – Bristol Fly Infestation

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The plague of flies in Bristol rages on, causing a nuisance to local businesses and residents. Many are not just criticising the firm who failed to contain the swarm, but the inadequacy of the council's response, which George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol has defended.

Fly nuisance at homes in Bristol

What's Going on?


The infestation began earlier in the month, and it is still ongoing. Some residents have serious problems inside their own homes due to the infestation, with 20 to 30 flies in each room being reported in some instances. This has led to some deciding to eat food and carry out other activities inside the safety of a mosquito net.

The problem arose when biofuel bales became infested with the flies. These bales were made up of refuse, and were the responsibility of an Avonmouth recycling firm who have since admitted responsibility for the swarm.

Treated Like Second Class Citizens


Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West has said that residents had been treated "like second-class citizens in a third world country" over the issue. The Mayor has responded to these allegations by demonstrating that the local council has made fly paper and fly sprays available, whilst also sending teams around to spray trouble zones, such as wheely bins.

The situation in Bristol is not dissimilar to a case that involved a landfill site which produced a terrible smell, affecting the local residents. In this case, the Court of Appeal sided with the residents. When considering private nuisance claims the court will decide whether the interference is sufficiently serious to constitute a nuisance.

We have produced an article describing in more detail what's involved in nuisance claims.

The law regarding nuisances is quite different to other areas of law, such as personal injury. If you're unsure of where you stand on issues such as the fly infestation in Bristol, or any other nuisances caused by another party, you can contact a solicitor for advice on making a claim for public or private nuisance.

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