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Noise: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q1: Can I make an anonymous complaint?

    A:

    The law that we enforce requires that we show an effect of the actions by one person on another person in their property. Should we need to take legal action the person who receives an abatement notice has a right to an appeal and a fair trial. The Court will expect a person who is accusing another to provide evidence in these circumstances. If it appears to us that the information you give us will become known to the person that you are complaining about then we will consult with you before it is released.

  • Q2: How do I make a complaint?

    A:

    Contact us with your name and address, the address the noise is coming from and how the noise is affecting the use of your property.

  • Q3: Out of hours noise complaints?

    A:

    The Council does not operate a 24 hour call out service for the investigation of noise complaints. Once we have received completed diary sheets we can make arrangements to visit out of hours or use recording equipment. If you are contacting us outside of office hours Monday to Friday your complaint will be passed to officers on the next working day.

  • Q4: What happens once I make a complaint?

    A:

    You will be sent diary sheets to complete for a period of two to three weeks, writing the dates and times on when the noise is occurring. You can also download and print a diary sheet from this page and start keeping records straight away.

  • Q5: What happens once I return my diary sheets?

    A:

    If the the log sheets to show that a statutory nuisance may be occurring we will investigate. Noise monitoring equipment may be installed to record levels of the noise or officers will arrange to visit to try and witness the problem. We have the power to serve a legal Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Reference will be made to your log sheets in determining whether it necessary to serve a Notice.

  • Q6: What constitutes a statutory nuisance?

    A:

    In making a judgement on whether the noise affecting you is just an inconvenience rather than a statutory nuisance. Reference has to be made to the duration, level and number of times in a set period that nuisance is caused. If, however, the noise were a one off such as a 40th Birthday Party for example, this is less likely to be viewed as a statutory nuisance.

  • Q7: Can music be played at any level up to 11pm?

    A:

    No this is a common misconception that you can make as much noise as you like until 11pm. Music played loudly and frequently at any time of the day could be considered to be a nuisance if neighbours cannot hear their own radio/TV at a reasonable level. However, loud music, which is played frequently in the early hours of the morning and causes sleep disturbance is more likely to be viewed as statutory nuisance.

  • Q8: What can be done about firework noise?

    A:

    It is against the law for members of the public to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions

  • Q9: What can be done about construction noise?

    A:

    Development is necessary and noise is to be expected from a building site, however builders should plan to use the least disruptive equipment and methods of working to avoid unnecessary noise.

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