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Dust and Vibration

The majority of complaints we get about dust and vibration are connected to construction and demolition sites. If you think that the dust or vibration is coming from another site carrying out an industrial/trade activity such as paint spraying please contact us for advice on 01536 410333 or at environmentalprotection@kettering.gov.uk

Construction sites are often near people's homes and will, by nature, generate noise, dust or vibration. The law recognises that demolition/construction must take place and by nature may cause local problems, so the Council has limited powers to help.

What can you do?

Speak to the construction company and raise your concerns with them. They may be able to tell you when the work will be finished, or take steps to reduce any nuisance to you.

What is the legal position?

Companies must take reasonable steps to control any nuisance, depending on the technology available and the costs involved. This is called using the best practicable means (BPM). This may include:

  • limiting hours of operation
  • using quieter pieces of machinery
  • using water to damp down dust

What we do?

Environmental Health staff can speak to the company carrying out the works and give advice on controlling their impact on the community. We do not have legal powers to stop demolition/construction taking place if the company is taking reasonable steps or BPM  to minimise its impact.

The Council gives guidelines for minimising the impact of demolition/construction noise. Where possible, noisy activities should be restricted to 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday 8am - 1pm on Saturdays, and no noisy activities should be carried out on Sundays or bank holidays. However this is a guideline only, not law. For long term, or large demolition or construction projects, companies may apply to the Council for what is called a Section 61 prior consent which will include noise controls and may include overnight or early morning works. The requirement to have a section 61 consent is not compulsory. If the company fails to comply with controls on a section 61 consent the Council can take legal action.

Can the Council help if I am concerned about property damage?

No - the Council can only help where the activity is causing a nuisance to you. For example, because of the noise or dust affecting your daily activities such as you are unable to hang any washing out in the garden because of the dust. If you are concerned about property damage, for example, vibration causing cracks in the ceiling/walls, speak to the company directly first. Alternatively contact a solicitor to get advice on taking action for a private claim and possible compensation. The Council cannot get compensation for you.

I work nights and the noise is stopping me sleeping. Can the Council stop the construction work?

No - the Council can only ask the company to work during reasonable day time hours. Again speak to the company directly to see if they can help you.

For any further advice please contact us on 01536 410333 or at environmentalprotection@kettering.gov.uk