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Noise nuisance

Pages in Noise nuisance

  1. 1. You are here: About noise nuisance
  2. 2. Report a noise nuisance
  3. 3. The Noise App

1. About noise nuisance

Noise disturbance is defined as unwanted sound. Something that is a disturbance to one person may not be to another. There are many causes of noise disturbance and many controls - although not every noise disturbance has a remedy in law.

For something to be a statutory nuisance it must be considered to be unreasonable to the “average person” and something that is more than just an annoyance. A sound being audible in your home does not automatically make it a statutory nuisance and it should not be assumed that it can be resolved by Council intervention. A noise that occurs very occasionally or is of short duration is unlikely to be a statutory nuisance. 

For general information and advice on statutory nuisance please visit our statutory nuisance homepage. The page provides background information on what the requirements are for something to be a statutory nuisance, information on how we investigate and what information and commitment we would require from our complainants.

When the council assess your nuisance complaint we would have regard to:

  • the time the noise happens (noise may be a nuisance at any time of day or night)
  • the duration of the noise
  • the frequency of the noise (both the tone/pitch and how often it occurs);
  • the type of noise;
  • whether there is social acceptance or value; for example, bonfire night.

As such the following kinds of noise are unlikely to be considered a statutory nuisance:

  • A one-off party;
  • Neighbours arguing;
  • A lawnmower used during the daytime;
  • A baby crying or dogs barking occasionally.
  • Slamming doors
  • Household appliances
  • Typical noise from children
  • Hard floor noise

In addition the Council has no legal powers to control the following kinds of noise and as such we are unable to investigate complaints encompassing the below:

  • Road traffic on the public highway;
  • People shouting/laughing or screaming on a public road or footpath;
  • Air traffic noise.
  • Railway noise (in most circumstances as Section 122 of the Railways Act 1993,  prohibits nuisance actions in relations to operational noise against railway operators).