Report Noise Complaints
Sound is an everyday part of our lives and can arise from a wide range of sources or activities including speech, music, equipment, animals, etc. On occasions it can cause annoyance and stress for many people and this unwanted sound is referred to as noise.
What are the most common sources of noise?
- Barking dogs
- House parties
- General household noise (e.g. banging doors, walking up stairs, etc)
- Musical instruments
- Construction/Demolition sites
- Industrial sites
- Pubs, Clubs, etc.
We receive a wide range of complaints about noise, ranging from domestic disturbance to industrial noise, from barking dogs to intruder alarms and nightclubs.
By close liaison with the Authority's Planning Department, tight controls can be imposed on new development so reducing the possibility of future disturbances and complaints.
What happens if you make a complaint to the Public Health Department?
- Both parties will be contacted to try and resolve the matter informally.
- A noise diary will be given to the person complaining to complete with the date and times of incidents of disturbance. If further investigation is required, an Officer will visit during relevant times to assess the noise.
- Officers may need to carry out noise monitoring when the problem is occurring which can involve using sound level measuring equipment, to enable them to assess to what extent there is a serious nuisance being caused and whether statutory action is necessary.
- Sometimes it is necessary to leave the noise monitoring equipment at the complainants property to record specific noise incidents and to analyse the information after the event.
- If informal attempts to resolve the complaints fail, then an abatement notice will be served under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection act 1990 if sufficient evidence is obtained to substantiate a statutory noise nuisance.
- If the offender fails to comply with the notice, proceedings can be taken in the Magistrates Court.
Anti-social behaviour is a serious issue and often has a basis in noise from neighbours, there is no easy remedy to such problems but anyone so affected should start to keep an accurate diary of events at the earliest opportunity to be used as evidence in court. The Council or the Police can apply to the Magistrates Court for an anti-social behaviour order in cases where an offender causes "harassment, alarm or distress". Disobeying an order carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years for adults.
Where to make a complaint?
Complaints may be made relating to noise or any other environmental pollution matter by calling in at the reception area of the Civic Centre or using the Contact Us form at the side of this page.
If noise complaints are received relating to outside of normal working hours, arrangements may be made with Environmental Health Officers to visit the area during those relevant hours.
There is no call-out/standby service provided for this purpose but pre-planned arrangements with the complainants have proved satisfactory to date.