Noise Nuisance

Noise is unwanted sound and may affect us at home, causing problems for us and our families.  We are not entitled to silence and a certain amount of noise has to be tolerated.  Some noise is not controllable, such as from road, rail or air traffic and some noise is unavoidable on construction sites.

We can assist with many noise issues, often just giving advice, but there are times when enforcement action becomes necessary.

The Most Common Sources of Noise:

Making a Complaint


Many people do not realise that they may be causing a noise nuisance. Before you make a complaint we recommend that you try to talk to the person and politely tell them about the problem.

If your neighbour continues to cause a disturbance, you can give us full details of your complaint by completing our online reporting form:

Report a Noise Problem »  


What We Will Do


Before the Council can take a legal action on anyone’s behalf, it must be satisfied that a ‘Statutory Nuisance’ exists and that evidence (suitable for a Court) has been gathered to support the case. In most cases, the following procedure will be followed:

• You will be asked to keep an accurate diary, detailing when the noise occurs and how the this affects you.

• This will then be reviewed by an Environmental Protection Officer and should it believed that a Statutory Nuisance may be occurring additional resources will be made available to you such as:

  • Access to the Noise App
  • Officer visits
  • Noise monitoring equipment installed in your home.

• If a Statutory Nuisance is found to exist, an ‘Abatement Notice’ will be served requesting the noise cease.

• If the nuisance continues and evidence is gathered that the Notice has not been complied with the Council can:

  • Apply for a warrant to the Magistrates Court in order to seize equipment used to produce the noise nuisance


  • Summons the offender to appear at Magistrate’s Court where a fine may be imposed if found guilty

Download a NOISE DIARY

There are some occasions where the we are unable to take action, particularly where the noise occurs intermittently and is not judged to be a Statutory Nuisance. If the we decide that formal action cannot be taken you will be informed and given advice about taking action yourself if you wish to do so.

Find our more about take your own private action.

Please note where action is the responsibility of another agency we may signpost you to the correct authority, department or organisation.

We have provided below a range of template letters to enable you to express clearly to the person creating a noise problem exactly what you are complaining about, the effect it has on you and what you would like them to do about it.  You can use these letters either as a guide to writing your own letter, or as a template.

Remember to keep a copy of any letter you send. 

Domestic Noise


You can adapt these letters to cover a range of noise complaints from loud music or intruder alarms, to noise from washing machines.  If you don't know the neighbour's name you could check the electoral register.  A copy of the electoral register can be viewed at the Council offices.

Commercial Noise


These letters can be used for local commercial activity that may be bothering you with noise, e.g. loud music from a pub or club.

You can find the registered address of a company using Companies House Find Company Information.  There is no charge for this service.

Out of Hours Service


Noise can be most disturbing at night and in normal times we offer a limited weekend out of hours service. 

You must be registered to use the service and this will be authorised by the Environmental Protection Team as part of investigating your complaint.

Officers will also visit if 3 independent calls from seperate premises are received regarding a property.

Please note that the Council does not provide this service during the weekends between Christmas and New Year.


Lydden Hill Race Circuit Noise Monitoring Results

From 2024 onwards, Lydden Hill Race Circuit (LHRC) are conducting self-monitoring of track noise that may affect the surrounding environment. Details of the self-monitoring results can be found on the LHRC website

If you experience noise issues from LHRC, have reviewed the LHRC results and feel there is a significant issue, then please complete a ‘making a complaint’ forms, details of this reporting form are listed above.

Please note that when making a decision we will take into account the results given by LHRC for the relevant events. We may also conduct our own monitoring following the receipt of a complaint.

The levels to be achieved by LHRC are:


Noise level to be achieved




55 dB (LAeq 30 min)


50 dB (LAeq 30 min)


45 Db (LAeq 15 min)


40 dB (LAeq 15 min)

6 (Other Activity)

Unlikely to cause any external noise issues