Environmental Health deals with noise nuisance from:
- loud music, parties and raves
- domestic noise from barking dogs, DIY works or inadequate sound insulation
- car and intruder alarms
- commercial noise
The council does not have power to deal with aircraft, railway and road traffic noise or noise from seagulls. Our traffic engineers may be able to help reduce noise from road traffic.
Loud music, parties and raves
Probably the most common form of noise nuisance is amplified music which causes a problem when it is being played too loud, too long and too late. It is mostly (but not always) a problem in the evening.
The action we take will depend on the nature of the problem and could range from giving advice or sending a warning letter to serving a legal notice. We also have powers to seize noise-making equipment. Officers will not intervene at the time the noise is witnessed unless they are sure there is no risk to their safety or if they have the assistance of the police.
A wide variety of noise sources fall into this category. Noise disturbances can be caused by DIY work, barking dogs, televisions, washing machines or any other type of household appliance. If noise is made during unsociable hours and is persistant and prolonged it can cause annoyance. Our approach to domestic noise complaints is the same as for loud music.
From time to time complaints are made about noisy children. They range from noise in school playgrounds at playtime to late night activity in flats. The council's view is that children are a normal part of our society and that a degree of tolerance and understanding should be shown. There may be limited occasions where the council could consider it justified to becoming involved. For example, where a childminder has taken a number of children into a flat and noise becomes a standard feature of the daily routine. Unreasonable behaviour on the part of the adult(s) responsible could be shown.
Barking comes naturally to dogs, but constant barking or whining of a dog can be disturbing or annoying for neighbours. Often the problem occurs when the dog is left alone so the owner is not aware there is a problem until someone complains. If an investigation establishes a nuisance in law the owner can be taken to court if nothing is done to stop the nuisance. Animal Welfare officers can give advice on ways to stop your dog barking.
From time to time DIY improvement works are carried out at home by everyone, and noisy equipment or activities are essential. Plan work so that noisy work does not take longer than it should. Discuss with neighbours suitable times to do noisy work. Take into account sleeping children and people at home with ill health. The hours considered reasonable for noisy DIY works are below, if a noise complaint is made concerning a neighbouring residents doing DIY outside of these hours each case will be judged on its own merits.
Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm
Saturday 9am - 1pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays No DIY work
Inadequate sound insulation
Where older houses have been converted into flats the lack of proper sound insulation between the flats often gives rise to intrusive noise. Unfortunately we cannot treat noise from normal living activity as 'nuisance' and therefore we are unable to take action. However, where unreasonable noise is demonstrated action could be taken.
If you would like any advice or information you can contact an Enironmental Health Officer.