What noise problems can the council investigate?
Environmental health can look into noise complaints such as:
- barking dogs
- noisy neighbours (loud music, TV, DIY and fireworks)
- burglar and car alarms
- construction and demolition work
- noise from commercial and industrial activities
- noise from pubs, clubs and other entertainment venues
Noise nuisance can happen at any time of the day or night. There is no legal time frame for when noise is considered a problem. This depends on the type of noise, how often it happens and how long it lasts.
Housing services will investigate noise complaints where a council owned residential property is the source of the complaint.
The anti-social behaviour team will investigate complaints about anti-social behaviour, including noise in the street from loud shouting and people gathering, for example. Visit the anti-social behaviour page for more details.
What can you do?
Most noise complaints, particularly those involving neighbours, can be sorted informally by talking to the person responsible. Often people are unaware they are causing a problem and will do what they can to reduce the noise without the need to involve ‘the council’.
Reporting a noise nuisance
Details we need include:
- your name, address, email and telephone number (details will be kept confidential)
- the address or location of the noise
- the type of noise being created (for example: barking dog, loud music) and details on when and how long the noise happens
This information is important for us to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible. Anonymous complaints and complaints where the source of the noise is not properly known cannot always be fully investigated.
How will environmental health investigate my complaint?
An officer from environmental health will contact you to discuss your complaint. If the complaint is to be investigated they will explain how.
For noise complaints about domestic properties, there will usually be an informal approach to the person complained about. A letter will be sent asking them to limit any unreasonable noise.
You may be sent noise diary sheets to complete and return if the noise problem continues. The information recorded on the diary sheets must be detailed so we know if further monitoring is needed.
In most cases we will need to witness the noise or install noise monitoring equipment before formal action can be taken.
If the officer finds there is a noise nuisance then a noise abatement notice will be served on the person causing the problem. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution.
Under anti-social behaviour laws a community protection notice can be issued if the noise is considered to be persistent or continuing having a negative effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and the conduct is unreasonable.
- Investigation of domestic noise complaints [pdf document]
- Dealing with barking dogs [pdf document]
- Steps to reduce noise [pdf document]