What to do if you have a noise problem near your home or at work, which you can't sort out yourself.
Noise, defined as prolonged exposure to high levels of sound, can impact on physical wellbeing and may cause noise related hearing loss or Tinnitus. Noise, defined as an unwanted sound, may also affect mental wellbeing.
In general for the noise to count as a statutory nuisance it must:
- unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
- injure health or be likely to injure health
Our noise toolkit has been put together to help you to take action over the noise nuisance you are experiencing.
By using the toolkit, you may be able to resolve the problem yourself without taking formal action. It is also a vital aid in gathering evidence, a necessity for officers to fully understand your case, and to help your case progress.
When can we investigate an alleged noise nuisance?
We have put together some further information and advice on:
- Barking dogs
- Building site construction
- Aircraft noise
- Noisy vehicle exhausts
- Broken drain covers
- Industrial extraction fans
- Bird scarers
- Noise from children playing
- Amplified music
- DIY for a few weeks
- Household noise/footsteps/TV
- Vehicle maintenance
- Neighbour disputes
- Noise from public houses
- Intruder alarms
If you believe that you dog may be causing a noise nuisance, please select the link below for some tips that may alleviate the problem.
Building site construction
Aircraft noise is not covered by noise nuisance legislation. However, Stansted Airport has a team that investigates aircraft noise complaints. The team can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can raise a complaint at through the Stansted Airport investigating aircraft noise service on the London Stansted Airport site.
Noisy vehicle exhausts
The police can also take action if your vehicle's silencer doesn't work in the way it was designed or if you're driving in a way that creates too much noise. The relevant law is the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, section 54(2), which states "Every exhaust system and silencer shall be maintained in good and efficient working order and shall not be altered so as to increase the noise made by the escape of exhaust gases".
Broken drain covers
You can contact:
- Essex County Council Highways
- Essex & Suffolk Water
- UK Power Networks
- Anglian Water
- Thames Water
- Virgin Media
Industrial extraction fans
Noise from children playing
DIY for a few weeks
If a neighbour is carrying out DIY on their premises for a few weeks or a short duration of time this would not be deemed as a statutory nuisance. However, if the works are undertaken at anti-social hours or for long periods of time, this could be investigated.
Many neighbour disputes are resolved without any formal action taking place, by talking to your neighbour directly or through participating in mediation. If both parties agree to take part, please contact Restorative Justice
Noise from public houses
Noise from Public Houses can constitute a statutory nuisance. Licensed premises have permitted activities and strict conditions which must be adhered to. Breaches in licensed activities could result in a review hearing.
The council has special powers to access a house after an alarm has been sounding for a period of time. By registering your alarm with the council you will be helping avoid any damage being caused to your property should this situation arise.