Noise

Before you report a noise problem, try to talk to the person responsible. They may not realise they're causing a problem. You can find out more about resolving neighbour disputes on the GOV.UK website.

 

There are no periods of time when the playing of loud music is specifically allowed. If the noise is causing a nuisance to others then it is a nuisance regardless of the time of day, or day of the week.

There is no noise level set in Law. Noise is a subjective assessment; therefore loud music being played from a detached property is unlikely to cause a nuisance whereas the same level of music in a block of flats is likely to cause a nuisance. Environmental Health Officers are qualified and trained to assess whether a noise is likely to be a statutory nuisance. They are also authorised to take legal action to stop the statutory nuisance.

We can only take legal action in relation to statutory noise nuisances. We cannot normally take legal action, for example, in relation to transport noise. If you are not sure whether we can help, it’s best to contact us directly and we will advise you.
We are also unable to deal with many types of behavioural or lifestyle noise such as:

  • noise from children playing
  • the normal use of appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, DIY tools at reasonable times
  • Sound insulation issues- such as noise from flushing toilet, footsteps

Please note the Council will not investigate noise that happens infrequently, the noise must occur regularly and be an ongoing issue. We are also unable to investigate any complaints made anonymously.

 

No. Anyone who believes that they are suffering from a statutory noise nuisance can take their own private civil action against the person causing the noise under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To find out more contact a Solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Our policy is to keep the personal information that we have about you such as your name and address, confidential.

If you want us to resolve a statutory noise nuisance for you, and we need to take legal action to do it we may have to disclose your personal details. For example, if we serve a Noise Abatement Notice the person causing the noise nuisance will have a right to know who made the complaint if they decide to legally appeal against the noise abatement notice in court. Similarly, if a case goes to the Court you may be required to give evidence. However, many cases are resolved informally before legal action is taken.

Construction sites are in the open and are often near existing residential accommodation. Residents will in general accept construction site noise but will complain if work starts early or finishes late or takes place on Saturday afternoon, Sundays or Bank Holidays. Complaints about construction noise can be investigated by Environmental Services staff. You can view the Council's Code of Practice here

 Code of Practice [PDF, 156KB]

The constant barking or whining of a dog can be very annoying for neighbours. The dog may also be trying to communicate that something is wrong, for example boredom, anxiety or medical issues.

The problem often occurs when the dog owner is out of the house so the owner doesn’t know until someone complains.

If a dog barks regularly and causes a significant disturbance to a neighbour, the dog owner must take steps to resolve the problem.  If they fail to take appropriate steps they may be guilty of an offence under Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or of conduct which is unreasonable for the purposes of the Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014-Part 4.

In order to address the barking, the owner must first understand why the dog is barking and then consider what action can be taken.

Please see our advice sheet for practical tips.

 Dog Noise Advice [PDF, 211KB] 

Information we need

In order for us to investigate your complaint we will need:

  • your name and address and a daytime telephone number
  • the address (or site) where the noise is coming from
  • the type of noise (such as loud music, barking dog, alarm sounding)
  • when and for how long the noise occurs
  • the way the noise affects you (such as keeps you awake)
  • anything you have done to try and deal with the problem (such as speaking to the person making the noise)

 

Report a noise problem