What we can do about noise?
We can serve an abatement notice on a person responsible for generating a noise nuisance.
The notice may require the noise to be stopped immediately, prohibit its recurrence or specify a time when it must cease (to enable works to achieve compliance to be carried out).
We can prosecute if an abatement notice is not complied with. We can take immediate action, for example by disabling car or intruder alarms or seizing stereo equipment.
In what circumstances can we take action?
We must witness the noise problem before taking formal action such as serving an abatement notice. We may ask you to record the frequency of the nuisance.
We must be satisfied that the noise is unreasonable taking into account loudness, time of day, how often it occurs and how often it lasts.
We do not have powers to take action in relation to aircraft, railway and road traffic noise.
For example, we can deal with noise from:
- DIY work
- barking dogs
- loud music
- construction sites
- pubs and clubs
- car and intruder alarms.
What can you do if you have a problem?
If you cannot resolve the issue by discussing it with the person causing the disturbance, and if the problem is persistent, you should report the noise to us via our e-form for noise complaints or contact us on 01372 732000.
You will be asked to keep a record of disturbances and most importantly note how you are affected, for example, by being kept awake at night.
We also provide an out of office hours service to deal with serious noise disturbance. Please telephone 01372 732555 when the noise disturbance is occurring out of office hours to discuss what action can be taken.
Construction site noise
Reasonable levels of noise are acceptable from a building site from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturday. There should be no noise from sites on Sundays or Public Holidays.
Noise from intruder alarms should initially be reported to the Police in case there is criminal activity taking place. The Council and Police receive many complaints about alarm systems that sound for long periods without such cause. Most modern alarms have an automatic cut-off device fitted to stop the alarm sounding after 20 minutes and these devices can be fitted to older, existing systems.
People with alarms on their property are encouraged to register their details with us, including keyholder contacts.
If an alarm system that is causing a noise nuisance is reported to us, we will try to contact a keyholder so that the problem can be resolved quickly and with the minimum of fuss. If we are unable to do so, we can take further action.
If a vehicle alarm is causing a noise nuisance, we will try to trace the owner either by door to door enquiries or by tracing the registration number. If we are unable to trace the owner within a reasonable time period, we will employ a locksmith to disable the alarm at the owner’s expense.
Noise nuisance (pdf - 212kb)
Building work (pdf - 125kb)
Noise from DIY building works (pdf - 122kb)
Burglar Alarms (pdf - 125kb)
Enjoying the party (pdf - 122kb)
Defra - Noise and Nuisance, Neighbourhood Issues (DEFRA website)
Telephone: 01372 732000
e-form: Report It - Noise Complaint