Contruction noise

Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 there are two avenues to control noise from construction sites.

1. Local authority response

Under Section 60 of the act, if it appears to the local authority that specific work to be undertaken is likely to cause nuisance, it can serve a notice imposing requirements on the way in which the works are to be carried out. This applies to the following works:

  • the erection, construction, alteration, repair or maintenance of buildings, structures or roads
  • breaking up, opening or boring under any road or adjacent land in connection with the construction, inspection, maintenance or removal of works
  • demolition or dredging work
  • any other work of engineering construction

The notice may in particular:

  • Specify the plant or machinery which is, or is not, to be used
  • Specify the hours during which the works may be carried out
  • specify the level of noise which may be emitted from the premises in question or at any specified point on those premises or which may be so emitted during specified hours; and
  • Provide for any change of circumstances

2. Business response

If you intend to carry out works identified above you can apply to the local authority for a 'Prior Consent' - but you must do this at the same time or after you apply for Building Regulation consent (if required).

An application under this section must contain:

  • the works, and the method by which they are to be carried out
  • the steps proposed to be taken to minimise noise resulting from the works

If the local authority considers that the application contains sufficient information for the purpose and that, if the works are carried out in accordance with the application, it would not serve a notice under section 60 in respect of those works.

If that were the case, the local authority will give its consent to the application.

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

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