Noise is part of our daily lives and a degree of tolerance is expected. The Council and the Police have legal powers to deal with excessive noise (often described as “nuisance” or “anti-social behaviour”). For more information see our pages on Anti-social Behaviour.
The following factors are used to determine if noise is unreasonable or excessive:
- Time of day
- Volume of the noise
- How often it happens and lasts for
- Source/cause of the noise
- Ability for the sound to be controlled
- How the noise affects you
Noise as a result of day to day activity such as flushing toilets, children playing, washing machines, vacuums, lawnmowers, doors and cupboards closing, are considered to be normal living noise, unless they are happening frequently at unreasonable times. We can not take action where normal daytime living noise is affecting the sleep of a night or shift worker.
What can I do?
Often people do not realize that their noise is causing an issue. Calmly discussing a problem with your neighbour and working together to reach a satisfactory outcome is more likely to work than ignoring the issues that prompted the complaint, or retaliating with your own noise.
What can the Council do?
Due to the volume of complaints we deal with we will not contact your neighbour unless we have evidence that the noise is unreasonable and is affecting you or the wider community. We will ask you to complete diary sheets, or use the NoiseApp, a mobile phone noise recording application, and make take a statement from you. For more details on the Noise App at www.thenoiseapp.com
There is also a limited officer response service you can contact when the noise is happening so an officer can visit and make an assessment of the noise. During office hours please call us on 01536 410333 and ask for a visit. Outside of office hours, between 6pm and 2am on a Friday and Saturday, call 01536 416005.
We cannot use our legal powers without your support. If you are fearful of reprisals it is important that you contact us to discuss a way forward rather than not contact us at all, as there may be a solution.