Noise

What can we deal with?

Excessive or unreasonable noise from a range of premises, including residential, commercial or industrial premises. For example: 

  • Loud machinery noise
  • Fan noise
  • Noise from vehicles (except from the road)
  • Machinery in the street such as compressors
  • Loud music from pubs and clubs
  • Construction or demolition noise
  • Noise from fairgrounds
  • Music from parked vehicles
  • Noise from your neighbours
  • Alarms
  • Bells
  • Excessive party noise
  • Excessive DIY noise that has been ongoing for four weeks or more or occurs between the hours of 9pm to 8am
  • Barking dogs

What legislation does the council use?

We investigate nuisance complaints under Environmental Protection Act 1990. 

What can’t we deal with? 

  • Noise from children playing in the street
  • Traffic noise
  • One-off residential parties
  • ‘Normal’ everyday living noise
  • Noise from aircraft 

Further advice 

Whereas most people would describe anything that annoys them as a nuisance, a statutory noise nuisance must be, in the opinion of the local authority officer, both excessive and unreasonable.

In the UK there is no absolute right to silence within your home. Therefore, although you may be unhappy with the level of noise you are experiencing, if it does not amount to a statutory nuisance you may have to endure it.  A statutory nuisance is more than a mere annoyance, it relates to an issue that has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of those affected.

Reasonableness

The officer who investigates complaints is bound by the law and is guided by previous court judgements over what is reasonable. What might be deemed to be reasonable at 2pm in the afternoon might not be reasonable at 2am in the morning. 

Diary sheets

If the noise is intermittent please complete diary sheets, giving the time, duration and date of the noise. Your first set of diary sheets should show the issues that occur over a period of 14 days.  The diary sheets are important as they assist the investigating officer in understanding the situation from your perspective.  They are used to determine if your complaint should be progressed and a further investigation pursued.  They also play a part in the council’s decision that a nuisance exists and form an important part of the evidence, should the council have to resort to formal action and ultimately take the matter in front of the courts.  For this reason it is important that you complete diary sheets throughout the course of your complaint.  If you fail to complete diary sheets and submit them regularly, your complaint may be closed until further information is supplied.

How to report it

If you are suffering from any of the above types of noise nuisance please let us know.

Find out how to report this online

For advice about our procedures and the legislation we use please see our frequently asked questions page

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 9 November 2016

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