Noise is part of everyday life and there is an expectation that, from time to time, we will all be disturbed by noise in our environment. We must all be tolerant of noise which occurs from normal everyday activities, that is of limited duration (such as a one off party), is caused by poor sound insulation between properties or is from a lawful or permitted activity. Councils must look into complaints about noise that could be a ‘statutory nuisance’ (covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990). Further details can be found here.

Noise complaints dealt with by Environmental Health:

  • Amplified noise (including loud music or TV)
  • Animal noise (including barking dogs or crowing cockerels)
  • Commercial noise (including noise from shops, pubs, leisure facilities)
  • Construction or industrial noise (including machinery, factories, building sites)
  • Intruder alarms (including car and house alarms)
  • Mechanical noise (DIY)

We cannot investigate:

  • Everyday household noise including the use of a vacuum cleaners and washing machines (unless at unreasonable times), door closing, children playing or crying, talking, footsteps etc
  • Road traffic, aircraft and railway noise
  • Noise from outdoor sports (cheering)
  • Noise which occurs in the street, including engine noise, rowdy behaviour/ shouting, car horns.
  • Anonymous complaints
  • Noise from a unknown source

How we will investigate:

  • We will telephone you to talk about the problem
  • We will try to contact the person making the noise
  • We may ask you to keep a record of the noise
  • We may visit you or your neighbours to assess the noise
  • We may install a Noise Nuisance Recorder so that the noise can be recorded
  • We will assess the complaint in line with guidance and the law
  • We may take legal action to deal with any problems
  • We will keep you informed when we make decisions

What action can you take:

Link to advice on how to informally resolve neighbour disputes on

You may also find it beneficial to enter into mediation with the person causing the noise problem. A mediator acts as an impartial third party who can help to rebuild broken trust, identify practical solutions to disputes and may help avoid the expense of obtaining legal advice or the stress of going to court.

What action you can take to help resolve a problem. 

Guidance and Advice:

Get in touch about a noise issue: