There are several ways of dealing with your problem. Please consider each of the following options:
We can take action for certain noises, such as:
Please remember we are an enforcement agency and you have to live near to the person you are complaining about. If we take enforcement action, you will be required to give a witness statement and you could be asked to attend court to give evidence against the person you are complaining about. This is not meant to scare or deter you but we do need to make you aware of this from the beginning.
We are normally unable to take action in relation to general living noise such as:
If you want us to deal with your complaint we will require you to complete a nuisance diary. This information is essential to gain sufficient evidence for us to investigate your complaint. If you have difficulty completing the diary or if you are disturbed frequently over several days please contact us for further advice.
If the evidence obtained shows there is a likelihood that a statutory nuisance may exist, your nuisance diary will be used to support any action taken by this Department. It is, therefore, essential that the information which you record is accurate and written at the time of the noise or shortly after.
There are no periods of time when the playing of loud music is specifically allowed. If the noise is causing a nuisance to others then it is a nuisance regardless of the time of day, or day of the week.
There is no noise level set in Law. Noise is a subjective assessment; therefore loud music being played from a detached property is unlikely to cause a nuisance whereas the same level of music in a block of flats is likely to cause a nuisance. Environmental Health Officers are qualified and trained to assess whether a noise is likely to be a statutory nuisance. They are also authorised to take legal action to stop the statutory nuisance.
We can only take legal action in relation to statutory noise nuisances. We cannot normally take legal action, for example, in relation to transport noise. If you are not sure whether we can help, it’s best to contact us directly and we will advise you.
We are also unable to deal with many types of behavioural or lifestyle noise such as
If you are suffering from any of these types of noise and you are a tenant then contact your landlord or housing association as they may be able to help.
No. Anyone who believes that they are suffering from a statutory noise nuisance can take their own private civil action against the person causing the noise under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To find out more contact a Solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Our policy is to keep the personal information that we have about you such as your name and address, confidential.
If you want us to resolve a statutory noise nuisance for you, and we need to take legal action to do it we may have to disclose your personal details. For example, if we serve a Noise Abatement Notice the person causing the noise nuisance will have a right to know who made the complaint if they decide to legally appeal against the noise abatement notice in court. Similarly, if a case goes to the Court you may be required to give evidence.
The law relating to fireworks is changing with the Fireworks Act 2003 placing new restrictions on the use of fireworks. The majority of the restrictions are expected to come into effect in time for the 2004 fireworks season, under section 2 of the Act. Other than this, there is no specific law to deal with noise nuisance caused by fireworks.
The ordinary noise nuisance laws are not applicable to firework noise as:
Construction sites are in the open and are often near existing residential accommodation. Residents will in general accept construction site noise but will complain if work starts early or finishes late or takes place on Saturday afternoon, Sundays or Bank Holidays. Complaints about construction noise can be investigated by Environmental Services staff.
A good starting point is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.