Dealing with domestic noise nuisance and noisy neighbours

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires the Council to take reasonably practicable steps to investigate a complaint of a statutory nuisance made by a person living in its area. This is the law the Council uses to take action where noise is found to be excessive and causing a disturbance.

We ask you to complete diary sheets before reporting a noise complaint. The Council is very limited in investigating noise and nuisance complaints if diary sheets are not provided.

Please be aware that under no circumstances will the Council accept anonymous complaints.

What the Council cannot deal with

The following examples cannot be considered a domestic noise nuisance:

  • Noise from babies crying/children playing
  • Vehicle and road traffic noise
  • Occassional residential parties
  • ‘Normal’ everyday living noise e.g noise from appliances, banging of doors,gardening equipment
  • People arguing

What the Council can deal with

The following examples could be considered a domestic noise nuisance:

  • Persistent noise from barking dogs and other animals
  • Loud music/loud televisions
  • Regular loud parties
  • Regularly occurring intruder alarms
  • Construction and building works.

Before making a complaint

Before making a complaint to the Council, if it is safe to do so, it is always best to try and speak to your neighbour as often they are not aware they are causing a problem. It will help to maintain a good neighbourly relationship if you are able to speak to your neighbour and resolve the problem between you. We appreciate that this may be daunting, and officers are able to offer informal advice about the best way to go about contacting your neighbour.

If you are concerned about physically approaching your neighbour, consider writing them a friendly letter to outline the issues that are affecting you. Remember, they may not be aware of the impact they are having on you.

Download the Council’s Noise Nuisance Diary and keep a record of the times dates and a description of what has happened. This information is required to allow the Council to understand the issue and in formulating an appropriate course of action. It is essential that you complete a noise diary before reporting a noise nuisance to the Council. It is recommended that the noise diary is completed for the following period of time:

  • 7 days if the noise is a daily occurrence
  • 14 days if the noise occurs several times a week
  • 28 days if the noise occurs several times a month

The Council is limited in investigating complaints if diary sheets are not provided.

Report the issue to the Council

If after following the recommended steps the situation has not improved, you may report the situation to the Council. You will need to:

  • Confirm that the matter may be considered to be a noise nuisance.
  • Ensure that you have completed diary sheets available to support your complaint.

You may now submit details of your complaint via the reporting form.

A Pollution officer will review the information provided by you and will respond to you as soon as possible.