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Pollution Control - noise

Excessive noise can reduce the quality of life, cause stress and be a source of friction and argument.

Environmental Health Officers investigate noise complaints in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Formal action can only be taken if the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance. If the noise you complain of is a one off or occasional event, it is unlikely to be a statutory nuisance and therefore the Council is unlikely to be able to use formal action to resolve the matter.

If the noise nuisance persists and your informal request has failed to resolve the matter you can report the matter to the Council's Environmental Health team.  

What the Council Will Do

  • Complaints are logged and passed to an Environmental Health Officer who will contact you for further information.
  • It will usually be necessary for you to keep a log of noisy events. Noise monitoring equipment may be installed in your premises if the diary indicates a nuisance exists and a Council Officer may visit when the noise occurs to make an assessment  
  • If a statutory noise nuisance is found to exist and informal action has not resolved the problem, then an Abatement Notice will be served requiring the noise to cease or be reduced.
  • If the noise continues, you will be asked to maintain another nuisance diary and an Officer will make another visit when the noise is alleged to occur.
  • In some cases the Council may obtain a warrant to enter premises and seize nuisance-making equipment.
  • The final option is for the Council to take the 'offender' to a Magistrate's Court where a fine may be imposed and their equipment forfeited.    

If, after investigation, the Officer is of the opinion that a Statutory Nuisance does not exist you will be advised of this decision and the Council will take no further action.

Top Tips if you are affected by noise

  • Speak to the person making the noise. Initially a polite word from you may be better than a visit from a Council official.
  • Write to the person. Again a polite letter from you will be preferable to a formal letter from the Council!
  • Be tolerant of "one off" events or of "special circumstances"
  • Keep a written log of events before contacting the Council
  • Be prepared to go to court if formal actions taken by the Council on your behalf require it.

Top Tips if you are making a noise

  • Be considerate of "others" who may be affected by your noise
  • Apologise in advance and speak to your neighbours
  • Keep DIY noise to reasonable times
  • Ask yourself "would this noise affect or bother me"!!

Other sources of help and advice 

  • Domestic Noise Nuisance

    Many people do not realise the effect their enjoyment of loud music or other noise activities may have on their neighbours. They could well act in a more considerate way if the facts are politely brought to their attention.

  • Barking Dogs

    Dogs bark naturally, but the constant barking or whining of a dog can be very disturbing or annoying for neighbours. Often this problem occurs when the owner is out of the house and does not realise there is a problem.

  • Entertainment Noise

    Excessive entertainment noise from pubs, clubs and festivals can be a problem, sometimes badly affecting neighbours.

  • Picture to depict noise from construction sitesConstruction and Demolition Sites

    Construction and Demolition Sites

    Construction and demolition works are usually noisy and can take place in areas that are normally quiet. Although the work may not last long, the disturbance caused by noise and dust and other issues may lead to problems for people who live and work near the site.

  • Drill to show DIY noiseNoise from DIY

    Noise from DIY

    Noise from neighbours can annoy, cause stress and generally affect the quality of life. The best way forward is to avoid causing a problem in the first place.

  • Picture of fireworksFireworks

    Fireworks

    Disturbance from the use of fireworks at inappropriate times and locations has become a major source of complaints in recent times.

  • Security AlarmAlarms

    Alarms

    If you protect your property (commercial or domestic) by installing or taking over an alarm system you have a responsibility to make sure it does not become a noise nuisance.