Noise Pollution

The law considers that a certain amount of general living noise is acceptable in day to day life, and that it is not unreasonable to hear your neighbours from time to time. The determination of statutory nuisance is therefore subjective in nature and decisions will be based on established case law and the professional judgement of investigating officers. When officers investigate noise complaints they are attempting to determine how unreasonable the noise is to the average person.
Some of the factors which are taken into consideration when determining whether the noise constitutes a statutory noise nuisance are:

If music is played at a level which interferes with your own use of your property such as television viewing it is more likely to be a nuisance.

The time of day the noise occurs
Noise can be a nuisance any time of day or night however certain activities such as mowing the lawn, vacuuming, or using a washing machine may be considered acceptable during the daytime but not during the night time.

Duration and Frequency
Noise that happens on a regular basis is more likely to cause disturbance and constitute a nuisance than a temporary or one off event such as noise from moving into a house, a barbeque or work on a construction site.

The location where the noise occurs
You may hear more noise if you live near a business such as a pub, or share a party wall with another property.

The type of noise
Certain types of noise with distinct tones or frequencies such as bass beat, are considered more annoying.

The sensitivity of the complainant to noise
For a noise to be a nuisance the person causing the nuisance must be acting unreasonably and the person complaining must be acting reasonably. A shift worker trying to sleep during the daytime and who complains about general daytime noise is acting unreasonably.

Social Acceptance
There may be more social acceptance at certain times of year e.g. Guy Fawkes Night or New Years Eve or from certain types of noise e.g. church bells.
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