Noise nuisance

What noise problems do we investigate?

We will investigate noise nuisance complaints relating to both domestic and commercial premises. We can investigate the following types of noise:

  • The playing of loud amplified music or loud television 
  • Continuous dog barking 
  • DIY activities for prolonged periods or at unreasonable hours
  • continuous sounding car, house or commercial alarms 
  • noisy industrial or commercial premises

How do we investigate noise nuisance complaints?

We discuss the problem with the complainant and may ask them to complete Noise Record Forms in the form of a diary, for a period of time. These help us to identify how long the noise goes on for and what effect it has on the complainant's enjoyment of their home life.

We try to resolve noise problems informally where possible and initially we may contact the person causing the noise to make them aware that complaints have been made to us.

If the noise persists after an individual has been advised and/or warned, we will attempt to gather evidence to prove that the noise complained about is what is termed a 'statutory noise nuisance'.

During normal office hours, we may for example attempt to visit and personally witness the noise. In out-of-office hours we may install sensitive noise-monitoring equipment e.g. tamper-proof tape recorders that make recordings which are identical to what the human ear would hear or arrange for our own Officers to visit in order to witness and assess the extent of the problem.

In some cases we can also use evidence given to us by independent third parties who may have witnessed the noise nuisance whilst at your property, for example from Police Officers, other Council officers or health service workers.

If the noise is a statutory noise nuisance – what happens next?

If we can prove the noise is a statutory nuisance we are required to take action under Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and this would normally mean serving a Noise Abatement Notice on the person(s) causing the noise nuisance. The abatement notice would require the statutory nuisance to be stopped and/or prevented from occurring again. If someone is found guilty of failing to comply with an abatement notice they can be fined up to a maximum of £5,000 for domestic noise and up to £20,000 for commercial noise. If we serve an abatement notice because of excessively loud music, but the problem continues, we will normally also seize all the sound equipment that is causing the problem.

Depending on the circumstances we may charge the perpetrator for return of the equipment or alternatively we may prosecute the person and ask the Courts permission to have it destroyed.

If you require further information, please contact us.

Contact details

Environmental Enforcement : 01274 434366

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