Pages in Noise nuisance
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).