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

and/or

  • 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.