It is a fact of life that we can all make noise that disturbs others, whether we are talking, playing music, entertaining, driving in our cars or just going about our daily business. What is pleasurable for one person may be a disturbance to another. Excessive noise can reduce the quality of life and in some cases impact on health. If noise is causing you a problem then we may be able to help you overcome the problem in a number of positive and constructive ways.
How do I make a complaint?
Please remember that you must declare any complaints you make if you are selling your property. If you would like to discuss a matter with an officer, please use the means below to do so. There are several ways to make a complaint, as set out below:
Before making a complaint
Before you make a complaint, you should try to resolve the matter informally by approaching your neighbour about the noise. If this proves unsuccessful, then you can make a formal complaint to the environmental protection team.
Can I make an anonymous complaint?
We are unable to accept anonymous complaints as the law requires that we assess the impact of noise on the complainant.
What happens after I have made a complaint?
We will send you a log sheet to record noisy events that have disturbed you. At the same time we will write to your neighbour to advise them that we have received a complaint. We do not reveal where the complaint has come from; the only time that we would need to do this would be if we required you to stand as a witness if the case had to go to a magistrates court.
If after the letters have been sent the noise continues, an officer will review any returned log sheets and also any other evidence obtained from visits or noise monitoring equipment. The aim is to determine whether or not a statutory nuisance exists. The factors we are required to consider are time of the day, duration, frequency and character of the noise etc.
If a statutory nuisance does exist, an abatement notice will be served on the individual responsible requiring them to stop whatever activity is creating the nuisance. If the individual fails to comply with the abatement notice, we have the option to prosecute or to seize noise making equipment.
If our officer determines that the noise is not a statutory nuisance, we will advise you how you can take a private action against the individual in the magistrates' court.
What we will not investigate
We will not become involved in a neighbourly dispute. Noise arising out of general everyday living is not regarded as unreasonable behaviour and, therefore, it is unlikely that we would consider it to be a statutory noise nuisance. It is unlikely that a one-off event is likely to constitute a statutory noise nuisance.