Procedure for Dealing with Noise Nuisance Complaints
You can make a Noise Nuisance Complaint online, but may want to read the information on this page first or download our Noise Nuisance Procedure Leaflet.
The following procedure has been developed to deal with the ever growing number of noise complaints received by the Council. Noise complaints are dealt with by the Environmental Protection & Public Health Team within Public Protection Services.
Receipt of Complaints
The accuracy of the information we receive is important because we are able to respond to complaints more quickly if we have the correct details.
The following information should be given when you make a complaint, whether in person, by telephone or by letter:-
1) Address where noise is coming from.
Exact details such as:
- house or flat number/site description
- street name
- town or village
2) Name of the occupier at the address, and/or person responsible for the noise (if known).
3) Nature of the problem.
Details about the type of noise causing the problem and how it affects you, for instance:
Noise from neighbours:
- loud music - drums/bass/singing
- DIY etc.
- fan noise
- building work
- descriptive word whooshing/whirring etc.
Details about the time(s) the noise occurs.
4) Your name.
5) Your address.
6) Your telephone number.
The Council ensures that the details you provide are confidential.
If you do not provide your name and address the complaint may not be dealt with.
Make a Noise Nuisance Complaint online.
You may also report problems by phone on 01229 876543 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Council's Response
In order to give you an efficient and effective service, the following procedure is applied to all new complaints. You may receive a form to complete, to confirm certain details to help us give a quality service.
Complaints about problems, which have already been reported, will trigger another stage in the procedure or lead to further investigation.
Initial Letter Stage
Letters are sent to:
a) the address where the noise causing the alleged nuisance is occurring, and;
b) the person who made the complaint - a "nuisance diary" is enclosed to record details of any further nuisance.
Should the noise continue and this results in complaint(s) to the Council, the next step in the procedure taken.
Second Letter Stage
At this stage an officer may visit the address where the noise originates and interview the occupier if available. A second letter will also be delivered. You will receive a letter informing you about the action we have taken, and a replacement diary if appropriate.
Further Complaints & Abatement Notice
If the problem is still continuing the noise will be monitored. Should the investigating officer decide that the noise amounts to a "statutory nuisance" an "Abatement Notice" will be served on the person responsible for the nuisance, or the owner or occupier of the property from where the noise originates. The Notice will prohibit the recurrence of further noise nuisance or, if necessary, specify a time limit for remedial work to be done.
Further Complaint & Prosecution
The noise will be monitored and if a "statutory nuisance" still exists this will normally result in the next step in the procedure, which is to prosecute the person who received the Abatement Notice, in the Magistrates Court. If convicted, a fine of up to £20,000 in the case of a company, or up to £5,000 in the case of a private individual, can be imposed.
Noises occurring outside normal working hours – An officer will examine your diary and arrange to visit your property on programmed visits when noise is likely to be witnessed. On some occasions, you may be requested to contact a call-out number to facilitate noise monitoring.
If the investigating officer, after 3 or more visits, is not satisfied that a nuisance exists you will be informed of this and given information about section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This enables any "aggrieved" person to take action through the Magistrates Court in respect of noise nuisance.
Further Nuisance & Court Action
Offenders can be fined up to 10% of the maximum fine per day for any further offences.
For further advice contact Geoff Dowker direct on (01229) 876366
Public Protection Services has a target for the relevant officer to contact a complainant within 3 working days of receipt of a complaint.