Noise nuisances

Noise is unwanted sound, a source of annoyance and stress which can even damage our hearing if it is very loud. 

Excessive and unreasonable noise can make life miserable.

Types of noise

Under the law, we are able to investigate problems from various noise sources that are considered a statutory nuisance, these include:

  • neighbour noise, including loud music, parties or DIY at unacceptable times
  • construction noise
  • entertainment noise
  • burglar alarm noise
  • vehicle alarm noise
  • audible bird scarers
  • barking dogs

For a noise to be a statutory nuisance it must be a noise which significantly affects a person’s health or personal comfort. The factors that determine this are:

  • the time of day the noise occurs
  • how loud the noise is
  • how long the noise lasts
  • the reason for the noise
  • the character of the noise; i.e. bass beat or high pitched
  • how often the noise occurs
  • your location

Taking action on noise

Initially we recommend that you try to resolve the problem by speaking to the noise-maker yourself. Consider approaching them to explain politely that you are being troubled by their noise. Often people are unaware that they are causing a problem and most will be happy to do what they can to reduce noise.

If this approach has little or no effect and you are still bothered by the noise you can contact us to report a noise issue by completing our online form or calling us on 01636 650000. If your complaint concerns a Council property, please contact Customer Services by calling 01636 650000 or by emailing

In the warmer summer weather there is an increase in the amount of outside living. We can only deal with complaints that concern a regular and persistent noise problem from a known address.

We don’t investigate anonymous complaints, and we always ask for a diary sheet before contacting your noisy neighbour, so usually we would need to know the problem was going on for a fortnight or so before we would start our enquiries.

The process of investigating and resolving a noise complaint may take from a few days to several weeks. In cases where legal action has to be taken, it may take up to six months.

Out of hours noise complaints

Unfortunately we no longer operate an out of hours service for noise complaints. If you believe the noise to be causing a public nuisance that is affecting the neighbourhood you can contact the police on 101 for general advice and to report the issue.