New guidance on construction site working hours

On 10 December 2021 a written ministerial statement was published regarding the enforcement of construction hours. This will remain in force until 30 September 2022.

Written ministerial statement.

How we'll work flexibily

This statement expects local planning authorities to respond positively to requests for flexibility in the operation of construction sites. This will support the sector’s recovery to pre-February 2020 levels. 

It may be necessary to take action where there's sustained disturbance outside of the hours contained within a planning consent, particularly where this affects sleep. We'll also consider the impact, how long it lasts, and any effort made to manage or mitigate the disturbance. 

Working hours that are permitted

We may approve requests to temporarily extend construction working hours. Permitted working hours can be increased until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very reasons against this.  

Sundays and Bank Holidays remain as non-working days.  

We'll look at issues on a case-by-case basis. We may not take enforcement action for someone working beyond permitted hours where there is an operational requirement, the change is justified and overall the harm arising is minimised. For example, opening a site when traffic is light to make a delivery which could cause serious road congestion at other times. 

Consideration for neighbours 

We understand that extended construction hours may have an impact on nearby residents. In line with government advice, we'll ask contractors to be considerate to their neighbours. Our Environmental Health Team will work with developers to make sure every effort is made to minimise and control noise and dust. 

Actions for developers  

Developers or their agents granted planning permission will: 

  • submit an application to discharge an approval of detail to amend the CEMP, where a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) was secured through a planning condition - do this using the planning portal
  • submit a written request to vary the working hours to where the CEMP was secured through a S106 Agreement
  • clearly demonstrate how the extension requested will help to recover any programme time lost over the last few months and facilitate work to continue on-site  
  • submit comprehensive information on how the constructor will communicate with neighbours and ward councillors about the extended hours and their local complaints process - this will need to be available during the extended hours of operation
  • update the CEMP to include an up-to-date copy of the construction programme, which clearly identifies all noisy construction activities

Operators of construction sites 

Site operators should: 

  • advise neighbours when changes to construction times have been agreed with the council, such as applications to extend site operating hours up to 9pm on weekdays and Saturdays
  • where possible, make sure noisy work is carried out within normal hours - usually 8am to 6pm weekdays
  • give neighbours who may be affected by work such as demolition or piling outside of these hours at least 48 hours’ notice 
  • adopt ‘best practice’ - choose the quietest suitable equipment, keep it properly maintained and follow safe working practices and implement additional dust and noise mitigation plans as necessary 
  • tell any subcontractors to follow agreed guidelines on noise, dust and other matters 
  • do not allow workers to use radios on the site if this could cause a disturbance 
  • avoid the need to park on the street by providing on-site parking wherever possible 
  • keep the public roads and footpaths clean, tidy and free from obstructions. 

What residents can do if there are problems

If the scheme is registered with the independent Considerate Constructors Scheme, you can send an emial to or phone 0800 783 1423. 

Alternatively, report the problem to our Environmental Protection Team on their online form or phone 01273 294266. 

Problems with small developments 

This guidance is for residents, developers and constructors involved with major developments, such as the construction of 10 or more homes.  

If residents experience problems with small developments, it is often quicker to try and resolve the problem with the site directly. If this is not possible, or is unsuccessful, residents can contact the council by email or phone as outlined above. 

When a problem is reported to us, our first action is always to discuss the situation with the site operators. While we will step in to take enforcement action where appropriate, we often find that developers are unaware of the problems they may be causing. Once it is brought to their attention, in most cases they will take action to deal with the matter.