The most common enquiries are about disturbance from neighbours, such as loud music and televisions, barking dogs, vehicle repairs and DIY noise. Other problems include burglar and car alarms, building site noise, noise made by businesses, licensed premises and noise in the street. For us to take action we need to be sure that the problem is a 'statutory noise nuisance'.
Upon receiving a complaint we will require you to keep records of the noise nuisance. This may be used as evidence in a Magistrates Court at a later date. After submitting these records, our officers will undertake an investigation using a range of equipment including sound level meters and digital recordings.
Where a nuisance is found to exist, or is likely to occur or re-occur legal action may be taken against the person responsible to abate and prevent its recurrence.
Barking Dogs are commonly complained about. But many dogs like to bark! It's a totally natural thing for them to do and in most cases it doesn't cause any problems. However, sometimes a dog may bark a lot, disturbing neighbours, keeping you awake at night or frightening visitors to your home. A barking dog is lonely, bored or unhappy. If you have to leave your dog, make sure it has had enough exercise. If necessary leave the radio on to keep it company and get a neighbour to look in. You can report this via our Self Service portal.
Businesses Re-openingAvoid causing noise problems for your neighbours as lockdown eases. We understand that this has been a challenging time and we want to work with our local businesses as the hospitality sector reopens. Our noise advice sheet offers some practical tips to try and prevent noise nuisance.
Can be reported via our Self Service portal.
If you are disturbed by such a noise or odour, and are able to identify the source, try visiting the premises and speaking to the Manager. In many cases, they are not aware that there is a problem and are happy to try to resolve it. If this is not successful, you can ask us to investigate. You can do this via our Self Service portal. Be prepared to provide your own details, and information relating to the noise and how it affects you. You may be asked to keep a diary of the disturbance.
If we judge noise from fireworks to be a statutory nuisance we can issue an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. As firework noise is short lived, in practice it can prove difficult to locate the source. To avoid noise problems with fireworks we recommend that you:
- Tell your neighbours about the display
- Locate the fireworks away from buildings that could reflect noise
The UK Firework Review website contains the main laws, regulations and other key points you will need to be aware of when you buy and use fireworks in the UK.
Please be aware that noise from loud music can be considered a nuisance to neighbours at any time of day or night. If you are disturbed by loud music, then please speak to your neighbour in the first instance. If this does not work, then we can investigate this for you. If we receive a complaint of loud music the investigating officer will consider the following when assessing nuisance:
The volume of music, and in particular the bass content which gives the distinctive "bass thump" in neighbouring properties. Please remember that the volume of music should decrease as the evening draws on.
The duration of the noise - Neighbours may tolerate the playing of music, but prolonged or excessive bouts of music during the day or night is likely to be disturbing. Sleep disturbance is the most common reason for reporting parties/gatherings to us so be wary of the likely impact that this will have on your neighbours. You can report this via our Self Service portal..
If you are concerned about noise coming from a neighbour’s property, a local business, vehicles or equipment in the street, often the best way to deal with the problem is to go to the source. Think about talking to the person or company responsible for the noise and explaining how their noise is affecting you. You may find that they don’t know they are disturbing you and often a friendly informal approach is enough to sort out the problem and maintain good relations.
If you don't feel that you can approach the person or company involved we can contact them on your behalf.
We will ask you to keep a diary of the noisy occurrences for approximately two weeks and we may come out and listen to the noise ourselves, and contact the other party/your neighbour. We will suggest a solution or compromise to both parties if we consider the noise to be unreasonable. However, it is possible that we feel there is no justification for our involvement. In this case, we would offer advice to you, and explain the reasons for our decision.
We cannot respond to anonymous complaints as we need to prove nuisance at the home of the people disturbed by the noise. You can report this via our Self Service portal.