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Noise nuisances

What is noise nuisance

Most people are subjected to a certain amount of noise as part of normal everyday life, but some noise can be unreasonable depending on how loud it is, what time of day or night it occurs and also how long the noise continues.

The majority of complaints we receive relate to domestic nuisances such as loud music, and house or car alarms.

We have powers to deal with complaints of noise where we can prove that a statutory nuisance exists.

A statutory nuisance means there is a noise at an unreasonable volume, for a duration of time or time of day that affects you at home in a significant way.

We can serve an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring the person responsible to stop the nuisance. It is also a criminal offence to not comply with an abatement notice and we have a range of powers to ensure that the notice is complied with.

Noise nuisance can be easily avoided

  • Have regard for your neighbours. Ensure that your neighbours cannot hear your stereo or TV.
  • Do not slam doors or make deliberate excessive noise.
  • If you have an alarm fitted to your home - make sure that it is fitted with a 20-minute cut-off device and register a key holder with the Council and the police station. We do have the power to break into your home to silence your alarm if a nuisance exists.
  • If you have an alarm fitted to your car - make sure it is fitted with a 5-minute cut-off device. We have the power to break into your car to silence your alarm if a nuisance occurs, or even tow it away.

Noise and other nuisance can reduce the quality of life for some people. To avoid creating such a problem, or if you have such a problem, please download our leaflets on Noise and the Good Neighbour Guide.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have also produced a guidance document called Bothered by Noise.