Report noise nuisance
When does noise officially become a nuisance?
When noise interferes with your life so much that you are unable to carry out normal and reasonable daily activities, then it is classed as a Statutory Nuisance. As an example, occasional noise from a pub which stopped you from getting to sleep would not be classed as a nuisance, but if it was happening on a weekly basis, then the chances are it would be.
What happens if I have a noise complaint?
First of all, you need to log a noise nuisance complaint. When there is a Statutory Noise Complaint, we will carry out an investigation.
We will arrange a site visit, and offer you guidance and advice on practical solutions once we have assessed the problem.
We try to take formal action as a last resort, and will first try to resolve any issues informally.
As part of the investigation, we need to gather evidence. We need your help to do this, as if your complaint does result in formal action, you will be the most important witness in any case we bring.
To collect evidence you can:
- Download the noise nuisance app to your mobile phone to record the noise
- Download and complete some diary sheets, which may be used as evidence later. First read the example sheets, so that you know how best to fill them in. These diary sheets will be used to decide how best to proceed
We may arrange for noise monitoring equipment to be installed in your premises, if we feel this is appropriate.
If we decide that formal action is the only way forward, we will first serve the offender with an Abatement Notice.
To serve an Abatement Notice, one of our officers needs to have witnessed the nuisance, and there must be enough evidence (e.g. recordings and diary sheets) to make sure that we can defend our decision if the offender appeals.
The notice requires the person responsible for the noise to reduce it to a reasonable level so that it no longer causes a nuisance. This does not mean that they have to stop making the noise altogether.
If the offender does not comply with the Abatement Notice then you will need to gather evidence again, in the same way as you did at the start - with recordings and diary sheets. One of our officers will again need to witness the breach of the notice.
It can take some time to establish and gather enough evidence to satisfy our legal team that it is right for us to prosecute the offender in the Magistrate's Court.
If we do take the offender to court, we will use all your evidence, and you will have to appear in court as a witness for us.
If someone refuses to comply with the Abatement Notice, we have the power to seize their equipment e.g. stereos, tvs, dvd players, ipod docking stations, speakers, record decks, although we cannot seize animals. We will use this power where the noise is clearly excessive and a frequent occurrence. We have the power to enter property, by force if necessary, to remove noise-making equipment.