Environmental health

The Environmental health section is divided into two teams.

The Pollution team and the Commercial team deal with the enforcement of a broad range of environmental health legislation. Their work includes:

Air pollution

Monitoring and analysis of air quality, radiation, asbestos, smoke control areas. Inspection of Authorised Processes. Investigation of complaints such as open burning and odour nuisance.

Contaminated land

Implementation of the Council's Strategy, investigation of all sites, maintenance of historical land use register, provision of advice on developments, investigation of complaints and monitoring of closed landfill sites.

Environmental advice

Provision of advice to the public, on Planning applications, and respond to consultations from the Environment Agency.

Food safety

Inspection of all food premises for compliance with food hygiene requirements. Investigation of complaints about food and food premises and providing advice to food businesses. Conducting food sampling surveys and responding to food alerts issued by the Food Standards Agency. Implement the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Investigate cases of suspect or confirmed food poisoning.

Health and safety at work

Inspection of Commercial premises for compliance with workplace safety. Investigation of accidents, complaints about workplace conditions and providing information and advice to business. We work in partnership with the HSE, who are the enforcing authority for industrial and agricultural workplaces in the area.


Investigation of complaints, provision of advice and monitoring.

Pest control

Investigation of complaints, treatment and enforcement action.

Public health/nuisance

Investigation of complaints regarding empty buildings that are not secure, rubbish or blocked drainage associated with business premises, filthy and verminous premises, contaminated watercourses and other public nuisances. Enforcement of Smoke-free premises and Smoke-free Vehicles Legislation. Monitor standards of mains supply, private supplies and bottled waters. Deal with unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments.

  • Smoke free in DarlingtonĀ 
    • From Sunday 1 July 2007, virtually all enclosed (or substantially enclosed) public spaces and work places in England were required to be smoke free.
  • Business support
    • Managers and those in control of premises should keep a log of smoking related incidents within the premises. This will be regarded as evidence of due diligence should an enforcement officer be called upon to investigate a complaint.
    • Smoking related incidents log [word document]
    • If staff are unsure as to their role in managing the situation the Smoking in pubs, clubs and hotels [pdf document] guide will be of use.
    • If a business is having difficulties with compliance free advice is available. Contact Customer Services on 01325 405111 and arrangements will be made for an appropriate officer to contact you within one working day.
  • Signage
    • Managers of all premises and vehicles must display 'No Smoking' signs. Failure to display the approved signs is a criminal offence. Signs are available free of charge from Environmental Health.
  • Smoking shelters
    • Smoking is permitted where there is no roof; or there is a roof but more than half of the total wall area (including other structures such as hedges) that makes up the perimeter is permanently open.
    • If you, as the manger or owner of a business, are considering providing a smoking shelter, for customers or staff, you should ensure it complies with building, health and safety, environmental and planning legislation. Further advice is available in our Smoking Shelters Guidance [pdf document]
  • Licensing
    • If you are licensed premises, you may require a variation to your licensing application to cover any proposed external area for use. Contact the Licensing Department on 01325 405888 or [email protected].

Visits to businesses

May be arranged or unannounced and for a variety of reasons:
  • Carrying out planned inspections to monitor levels of compliance with legislation
  • Responding to requests for advice and information
  • Investigation of complaints
  • Investigation of food poisoning
  • Investigating workplace accidents
  • Taking samples such as: food, environment and drinking water

All Officers carry a certificate of appointment that includes their name, job title and photograph. You should ask an Officer who is not known to you to produce this identification before allowing them into your premises.

A career as an Environmental Health Officer

If you are interested in Environmental Health as a career and would like further information with regards to the qualifications needed and potential routes to becoming an Environmental Health Officer refer to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health's website [external link]

To develop a career in Environmental Health you need to undertake an accredited course that is recognised by the Environmental health Officers registration Board, together with a 48 week work experience placement. Local authorities may offer placements to students.