Procedure for Dealing with Noise Nuisance Complaints
You can make
a Noise Nuisance Complaint online, but may
want to read the information on this page first.
The following procedure has been developed to deal with the
ever growing number of noise complaints received by the Council.
Noise complaints are dealt with by the Environmental Protection
Team within the Environmental Health Department.
Receipt of Complaints
The accuracy of the information we receive is important
because we are able to respond to complaints more quickly if we
have the correct details.
The following information should be given when you make a
complaint, whether in person, by telephone or by letter:-
1) Address where noise is
Exact details such as:
- house or flat number/site description
- street name
- town or village
2) Name of the occupier at
the address, and/or person responsible for the noise (if
3) Nature of the
Details about the type of noise
causing the problem and how it affects you, for instance:
Noise from neighbours:
- loud music - drums/bass/singing
- DIY etc.
- fan noise
- building work
- descriptive word whooshing/whirring etc.
Details about the time(s) the noise occurs.
4) Your name.
5) Your address.
6) Your telephone number.
The Council ensures that the details you
provide are confidential.
If you do not provide your name and
address the complaint may not be dealt with.
The Council's Response
In order to give you an efficient and
effective service, the following procedure is applied to all new
complaints. You may receive a form to complete, to confirm certain
details to help us give a quality service.
Complaints about problems, which have already
been reported, will trigger another stage in the procedure or lead
to further investigation.
Initial Letter Stage
Letters are sent to:
a) the address where the noise
causing the alleged nuisance is occurring, and;
b) the person who made the
complaint - a "nuisance diary" is enclosed to record details of any
Should the noise continue and this results in
complaint(s) to the Council, the next step in the procedure
Second Letter Stage
At this stage an officer may visit the address
where the noise originates and interview the occupier if available.
A second letter will also be delivered. You will receive a letter
informing you about the action we have taken, and a replacement
diary if appropriate.
Further Complaints & Abatement Notice
If the problem is still continuing the noise
will be monitored. Should the investigating officer decide that the
noise amounts to a "statutory nuisance" an "Abatement Notice" will
be served on the person responsible for the nuisance, or the owner
or occupier of the property from where the noise originates. The
Notice will prohibit the recurrence of further noise nuisance or,
if necessary, specify a time limit for remedial work to be
Further Complaint & Prosecution
The noise will be monitored and if a
"statutory nuisance" still exists this will normally result in the
next step in the procedure, which is to prosecute the person who
received the Abatement Notice, in the Magistrates Court. If
convicted, a fine of up to £20,000 in the case of a company, or up
to £5,000 in the case of a private individual, can be imposed.
Noises occurring outside normal working hours
– An officer will examine your diary and arrange to visit your
property on programmed visits when noise is likely to be
witnessed. On some occasions, you may be requested to contact
a call-out number to facilitate noise monitoring.
If the investigating officer, after 3 or more
visits, is not satisfied that a nuisance exists you will be
informed of this and given information about section 82 of the
Environmental Protection Act 1990. This enables any "aggrieved"
person to take action through the Magistrates Court in respect of
Further Nuisance & Court Action
Offenders can be fined up to 10% of the maximum fine
per day for any further offences.
For further advice contact Geoff Dowker direct on
The Environmental Health Department has a target for the
relevant officer to contact a complainant within 3 working days of
receipt of a complaint.