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.
In the first instance, it would be recommended to talk to your neighbour about any noise complaints you are experiencing. It is often the case that your neighbour is not aware of the problem and can quickly resolve it.
If the problem continues, the Environmental Protection Team has a duty to investigate complaints of noise under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to establish whether the noise is causing a statutory nuisance.
Examples of what we investigate
|We can investigate…||We can't investigate…|
|Dog barking||Anonymous complaints|
|Loud music from neighbours||Ball games/ children playing|
|DIY noise||Road traffic noise|
|Noisy cockerels||Anti-social behaviour noise|
|Musical instruments||Rail Traffic Noise*|
|Burglar and car alarms|| |
|Noisy extraction systems|| |
|Noise from licensed premises|| |
|Commercial and industrial noise|| |
*Issue with rail traffic noise should be reported directly to Network Rail via their website
or by calling 03457 11 41 41.
How we investigate
When officers investigate noise complaints they must determine how unreasonable the noise is to the average person.
We will require you to complete a noise diary to detail how and when you are affected by the noise.
We will contact the person causing the noise to make them aware that a complaint has been received and where possible, provide advice on noise control measures.
Other measures to gather evidence can include officers monitoring the noise themselves and the use of noise recording equipment.
If it is determined that a statutory nuisance exists, there are a number of legal powers available to resolve the problem, including service of an enforcement notice and prosecution.
The Noise App
If you have an Apple or Android smartphone you can now download the free 'Noise App' system to submit noise recordings any time of the day or night to assist with your noise complaint investigation. These recordings are assessed alongside diary sheets. Additional information is contained within the document below.
Taking private action
You are able to take your own private action if you are affected by the existence of a nuisance. This would be to the Magistrates’ Court, where an Order could be granted requiring the abatement of the nuisance and a fine may also be issued.
The Environmental Protection Team is available to provide advice on noise control measures for both residential and commercial premises.
Our service hours are Monday to Thursday 09:00 till 17:00, and Friday 09:00 till 16:30.