Social distancing rules and guidance mean we are all going to be spending a lot of time within our homes. This will means that what you do in your home may now have a greater impact than usual.

Many of us may see this period as the perfect opportunity to finish off those outstanding household projects including DIY or tidying up the garden. We may also wish to relax by playing music or watching TV for longer than usual and playing with children and pets in the garden.

Unfortunately all of these activities can significantly impact upon neighbours (particularly when they are also confined). The effects could be particularly severe if a person is suffering from ill health.

It is the responsibility of everyone to think about minimising their impact upon neighbours and so the Environmental Health Team would ask that you consider the following guidance:


Please be mindful that noisy DIY activities may impact upon your neighbours (particularly when your properties are attached). You should not expect your neighbour to be affected by long periods of noise from drilling or hammering.

  • If it is possible to do so, you should speak to your neighbour (maintaining separation distances) before you begin work
  • Perhaps give them your mobile number so that can speak to you if the noise is too loud
  • You should limit the work to the day-time (9am to 5pm) whenever possible
  • Try to give your neighbours a break from the noise from time to time (ie: perhaps leave a few days between projects) or limit the hours when you make noise
  • Consider alternative quieter projects

Further information is available on our DIY page


It is extremely difficult to burn waste or garden cuttings without smoke affecting neighbours in their homes and gardens. Smoke from all bonfires contains toxins which can be harmful to health (and may make existing conditions worse). Smoke is also extremely anti-social and can prevent a neighbour from enjoying their own garden effectively confining them to their home.

Therefore in current circumstances the Council is requesting that residents do not hold bonfires at their properties.

The Environmental Health Team will investigate complaints about bonfires from residents and can take legal action against a householder who is affecting others with bonfire smoke.

Further guidance is available on our bonfire page.

Amplified Music including TVs:

It is entirely reasonable for a resident to listen to music or watch television in their own home.They should however be aware that if the volume is too loud it can significantly impact upon a neighbour. We would recommend:

  • That you keep the volume of music and TV's at a level which enables you to watch or listen in comfort but is not loud enough to be heard in other rooms of your house
  • If you want to listen to loud music consider using headphones
  • If you are watching films or TV consider using your TV's speakers and switch off any sound bars or stereo amplification. Consider using the 'night mode' if your system has one
  • Do not play music loudly in the garden

The Environmental Health Team will investigate complaints about loud music and can take legal action when it is causing a statutory nuisance. More information can be found on our noise nuisance page

Children Playing:

The Council has no powers to stop children playing either within the home or in a garden and cannot investigate such complaints.

Dogs Barking:

Dog barking should be minimised whenever possible and you should not leave your dog(s) outside for long periods of time if they are barking.

Dog barking often occurs when a dog is:

  • Lonely - perhaps leave a radio on if you have to leave your dog or when home, allow it to be in your company
  • Bored or frustrated- stimulate your dog by going for regular walks or having periods of play in your garden or home
  • Attention seeking- Give your dog a routine with defined periods of play and attention
  • Defending its territory- Consider leaving your dog in a room where it cannot see outside of your home or enclosing your garden area
  • Unwell- seek medical attention

More information can be found on our dog barking page