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Report a noise problem

Noise Control

If you are suffering from regular or unreasonable noise nuisance and you have tried to speak with the people responsible, we can help.

It is difficult to give a definition of noise nuisance - we all make noise at some time whether at home, work or leisure.

In domestic situations, this can often include watching TV loudly, playing music loudly, having regular parties or barbeques, using DIY equipment, dogs barking, and when generally going about our daily lives.

You may also live close to a business, pub or leisure activity which causes unreasonable disturbance to you at home.

Excessive and inconsiderate noise is unacceptable when it affects the quality of other people's lives. 

If you are suffering from noise nuisance, talk to the source of the noise. Many problems can be dealt with in this way, as the source of the noise may not even be aware they are causing you a problem.

In general, we can only deal with noise coming from a premise: for example a house or garden.

You need to talk to the source of the noise (perhaps your noisy neighbours) so they understand how their noise affects you. This may stop the noise problem quickly.

If the noise does not improve, you can report noise nuisance to us. We are unable to deal with anonymous complaints or complaints without a specific source address.

At first we will write to your neighbour and advise them that a complaint has been made. You will be asked to complete a noise diary so that we know if the noise problem continues and to assess how bad it is. If the noise diary is not returned to us, we will assume that there is no longer a noise problem.

Before making a complaint, please make sure you are familiar with our procedure for dealing with domestic noise complaints [PDF, 74 Kb].

Report noise nuisance 

When we receive complaints about noise nuisance, we will always write to the source of the noise to tell them a complaint has been made. At this stage, the complaint is only an allegation. We have a duty to investigate all noise complaints, even if you do not think you are making a noise.

We are unable to tell you who has complained.

If we are satisfied that noise coming from your property is causing a nuisance, we will invite you to attend a noise interview. This may include playing you recordings of the noise so that you can understand the impact your noise is having on other people.

If you do not hear from us within 40 days of your original letter, please assume the case has been closed and no further action will be taken.

Please read our procedure for dealing with domestic noise nuisance [PDF, 74Kb]. If you have any further questions about the noise complaint, you canemail us.   

We often have to deal with noise from non-domestic premises such as factories, building sites, supermarkets and pubs. Agricultural and leisure activities can also create noise nuisance.

In general, we can only deal with noise coming from a premise: for example a house, garden, land or commercial building.

We can deal with noise from stationary vehicles, machinery and equipment on the highway. For example, a car alarm or noisy generator.

In areas of mixed residential, commercial and industrial premises, some noise should be expected.

There are a number of different regimes and laws which aim to control commercial and industrial noise. For example, a premises licence, planning permission or an Environmental Permit.

Noise from pubs, clubs and live music events

In addition to controls provided under noise nuisance laws, noise from pubs, clubs and live music events may also be controlled by a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice. These are issued by the Council's Licensing team.

Noise from construction and demolition sites

Construction and demolition is a necessary activity that routinely takes place to improve and develop our area. It is inevitable that some noise and disturbance will occur where residents live in close proximity to development sites. Builders can help minimise noise by organising their noisy activities to take place during reasonable hours of the day. Site working hours will vary across different sites and depending upon the nature of the work, however we would not expect sites to work on Sundays and Bank Holidays or before 7am. Some work during night time hours and weekends is unavoidable, particularly on the transport network. The Control of Pollution Act 1974 Section 60 enables the Council to serve a notice to control noise from building sites. Noise from very large building sites may also be controlled by a planning condition.

Noise from bird scarers

Bird scarers are routinely used to protect crops. If noise from bird scarers disturbs you before sunrise or after sunset, or fires more than four times in an hour, you should speak to the farmer to let him know how it affects you.

The National Farmers Union has prepared a code of practice on the use of audible bird scarers [PDF, 1Mb].

Report commercial noise nuisance

To report commercial noise, you need to provide us with the following information:

  • Your name, address and contact information
  • The premises or land where the noise is coming from
  • The name of the person responsible for the premises or land
  • How often the noise is happening and at what times of day

Report commercial noise nuisance

In general, we can only deal with noise coming from a premises: for example a house, garden, land or commercial building.

We are not able to deal with general road traffic noise. Noise from individual noisy vehicles on a residential road can be reported to the Police by calling 101.

We do not deal with aircraft noise. If departing or landing aircraft is causing you a nuisance, please contact the Civil Aviation Authority:

We are unable to deal with noise from railways.  

noise nuisance enforcement

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Opening hours

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 5pm

Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm

Closed Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays

Last updated: 19/12/2016
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