Noise problems

Dealing with noise problems

The council has a legal duty to investigate complaints of statutory nuisances caused by excessive noise. We will investigate noise complaints relating to both domestic and commercial premises, some of the most common being:

  • the playing of loud music or loud televisions
  • barking dogs
  • noise from shouting/raised voices
  • noise from pubs, clubs or events

It may be helpful if you can approach the person or business responsible and explain the situation as they may not realise that they are causing you a problem. However, this informal approach may not always work, or you may not feel comfortable in speaking to the person directly in such cases a complaint can be made to the council's Environmental Health Service.

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Contacting the council

When you contact the council a member of the team will discuss the case with you and what we can do to help. We offer a confidential service and do not say who has made the complaint. A letter will then be sent to the noise maker advising them of the complaint and ask them to take action to reduce the noise. In most cases this can resolve the situation. 

You will be asked to complete diary sheets detailing the times, date and duration of the noise. This is important because it shows the noise can be heard and that it is a significant noise problem affecting the use and enjoyment of your  property. Please keep in touch with the team and update us on the situation. We are unable to keep sending out repeat letters and so it's essential that you return your diaries for the case to be progressed.

Please note - Unfortunately because nuisance law requires us to determine the impact of the noise upon an individual, the Council is unable to investigate anonymous complaints, any anonymous complaints will be noted but not acted upon. 

Noise app

Noise nuisance can happen at any time of day or night and you can use the Noise App to help submit samples of the noise directly to us. We then use this information and your diary sheets to quickly decide on the next course of action.

You must submit a complaint to us first, then we will advise you on the next steps.

What happens next?

If the council decides someone is causing a noise nuisance, an abatement notice will be served requiring the person responsible to stop the nuisance or face further legal action. If someone breaches a notice they can prosecuted and if found guilty, receive a substantial fine.

This happens in a small number of cases and during the course of the investigation all attempts will be made to try and resolve the complaint informally.

Further information

Submit a complaint using our form, call 01609 767138 or download one of our advice leaflets: