Councils should investigate grievances and complaints about noise from premises, vehicles, equipment, or machinery if the noise could considered a statutory nuisance.
For that to happen it has to either:
- Harm health, or be likely to harm health; or
- Significantly interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
If the council agree that the noise complaint is valid then they must serve an abatement notice which requires the responsible party to prevent or reduce the noise.
It is up to the council to choose what level of provision they provide to deal with noise complaints, for example, whether to have officers on call at night.
Councils are able to issue warning notices when noise is created during night hours (between 11pm and 7am). Warning notices can be issued at night without it being a statutory nuisance.
The warning notice must tell the recipient:
- that the noise is coming from the premises between 11pm and 7am
- that the noise exceeds, or may exceed permitted levels as measured from within the complainant’s dwelling
- that the noise must be reduced to below the permitted level in a specified period (this must be at least 10 minutes after the notice is served and must end by 7am)
- what time the notice is issued
Councils have separate powers to deal with anti-social noise such as complaints about noisy neighbours.
To find out the noise complaints procedures contact a council here.