Environmental Protection Act
The Council’s Environmental Protection Team
deals with Noise Nuisance under Part III of the Environmental
Protection Act 1990. Section 79 (1) (g) states that a noise
- noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health
or a nuisance (“Prejudicial to health” means injurious, or likely
to cause injury to health)
Section 2 of the Noise and Statutory Nuisance
Act 1993 amends the list of nuisances’ under Section 79 (1) of
Environmental Protection Act 1990:
- ga) noise that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance and is
emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in a
This enables local authorities to deal with
vehicles, equipment or machinery located in the street which are
emitting noise that amounts to a 'statutory nuisance'.
Control of Pollution Act
Noise from Construction Activities are
controlled by the Council under Section 60 & 61 of the Control
of Pollution Act 1974.
Loudspeakers in the Street are controlled
under Section 62 which limits the times during which loudspeakers
may be sounded in the street (i.e. ice cream van chimes)
What is a nuisance?
A nuisance is an act that causes unreasonable
disturbance to the use and enjoyment of your property.
Reasonable expectations are:
- To be able to sleep without disturbance during the times
normally used for sleeping.
- To have access to qualified staff to assess the existence of
nuisance, including out of hours by arrangement.
- Not to hear excessive noise from neighbours in their
home on a regular basis, e.g. DIY, barking dogs, loud
The council will investigate complaints
- Domestic Noise (loud music; televisions / radio; persistent
shouting, banging or other unreasonable domestic noise)
- Building and DIY work at unreasonable times of the day
- Noise from Entertainment Venues (Pubs, Nightclubs etc)
- Noise from Commercial Premises (e.g. Refrigeration
- Noise from Construction Sites
- Persistent barking dogs
- Noise from Intruder Alarms (including car alarms)
- Noise emitted from, or caused by, a vehicle or equipment in the
Noise has to be consistent, excessive and / or
unreasonable. Light sleepers and those sensitive to noise will have
to accept some disturbance. The council can not deal with noise
from ordinary domestic activities or where poor sound insulation
exists. The Law does not permit anybody the right to
An officer will need to determine if noise
amounts to a statutory nuisance. This will require diaries to be
kept by the complainant. Failure to return diaries will result in
limited action being taken. Also, the word of the
complainant, alone, is not sufficient for the Local Authority to
prove nuisance. Therefore the investigating officer must be able to
witness the nuisance, possibly on several separate occasions. This
may include the use of surveillance equipment.
The following are factors that the officer
will take into consideration:
- Time of Day
- Character of the Noise
- Your location
- Motives of the Defendant
The officer will review the evidence at each
stage of the procedure.
Procedure for Dealing with Noise Nuisance Complaints