Noise can cause mere annoyance, but when a noise has a significant impact on a person's health and wellbeing then it may be a 'Statutory Nuisance' in the eyes of the law. For the noise to count as a statutory nuisance it must do one of the following:
- unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
- injure health or be likely to injure health
We will investigate noise nuisance complaints relating to both domestic and commercial premises, some of the most common being:
- Domestic noise such as loud music, barking dogs, DIY, alarms.
- Construction works.
- Excessive noise from commercial or industrial sites (i.e., from vehicle movement, deliveries, ventilation/extraction, alarms sounding)
- Excessive noise from licensed premises (i.e., pubs, clubs, beer gardens and outdoor entertainment)
The Council can only investigate if the noise occurs frequently and regularly and over a prolonged period. We cannot investigate general 'day to day' activities unless the noise can be deemed as unreasonable. We do not investigate anonymous complaints.
Complaint Investigation Procedure
It is advised that in the first instance, you approach the noise maker directly and politely explain the impact that the noise is having upon you. It maybe that the person responsible for the noise was not aware of the impact they were having upon residents.
If this is not appropriate, or this has had little effect, our noise investigation process is as follows:
Upon receiving a noise complaint, we will contact the party responsible and ask them to take reasonable steps to stop the noise or reduce its impact upon residents. We will not share your details at any time, however in some situations it may be obvious who has made the complaint.
Should this not resolve the issue, you will be asked to keep a diary record of the noise events detailing the dates, times, duration and how you are affected.
You will be provided access to a 'noise app' to record samples of the noise onto your phone. These can be shared directly with the council. We may also install noise monitoring equipment within your property to collect evidence of the noise, or officers will visit your home at times when noise is present to witness the impact first hand.
The evidence gathered during the investigation will determine the next steps, which you will be informed of.
If a noise nuisance is likely to exist, we will serve a legal notice requiring the party responsible to stop the noise. If they continue, we may take the party responsible to court or take other steps to ensure the Notice is followed. Please be aware that in such cases you may be required to complete a witness statement and potentially attend court. The progression of a noise complaint to court is rare as officers will try and resolve the matter informally throughout the investigation.
Other options available to you.
The Council's investigation service is not suitable for all complaints. The legislation recognises this and gives a complainant the right to make a complaint directly to the local magistrate's court. Individuals can also take their own action civil action.
Some cases may be suitable for mediation services which can help to resolve such complaints. The service is designed to assist neighbours to solve conflicts and is free, impartial, independent and confidential.
How to make a complaint
To make a noise complaint and commence an investigation, please see the relevant category below.