What happens when you make a noise complaint

All noise complaints are dealt with confidentially.

We will not disclose your details to anyone, but we will need to know your name and address to use as evidence in your complaint. This is because we need to show that the complaint came from a real person.

Most noise complaints can be dealt with without the need to go to court, but if this should be the case, we may also ask you to appear as a witness in the court proceedings.

Our investigation procedure

Once you have made a complaint, an Environmental Protection Officer will contact you to discuss your problem.

The officer will initially send an informal letter to the person responsible for the alleged noise to tell them that a complaint has been made. The officer may ask you to complete diary record sheets over or make recordings on our noise app over 28 days to allow them to assess the situation.

Diary sheets or recordings are an important source of evidence. They enable the officer to establish some basic facts about the noise, for example, how often and when it happens, and how it affects you. They will also be used to determine whether the issue you are experiencing can be classed as a statutory noise nuisance in law.

Once the diary sheets and/or recordings have been completed and reviewed by the officer, they will decide what steps to take next. This can include sending a more formal letter to the person responsible and installing noise recording equipment.

If the diary sheets and/or recordings are not completed and returned to your officer within the agreed time, no further action will be taken, and the case will be closed. Your officer will keep you updated on the progress of your case.

What happens after a noise complaint investigation

If the noise is not a statutory nuisance

We will investigate your case thoroughly. If no noise nuisance can be determined, your complaint will be closed and your officer will contact you to tell you about their decision. We will also advise you on alternative courses of action that you may wish to take.

If the noise is a statutory nuisance

If the officer decides that the noise is a statutory nuisance, those responsible will be served with a Noise Abatement Notice under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This will require them to stop making the noise. Those responsible will be informed of the legal action available to us should the noise nuisance continue.

If the noise continues after a noise abatement notice has been served

If the noise carries on after we have served a noise abatement notice, you must notify your officer. They will arrange further noise monitoring and will ask you to continue to keep diary records of the times and days you are being disturbed.

If we find evidence that the noise abatement notice has been breached, then we may prosecute those responsible.

People found guilty of breaching an Abatement Notice could be liable to an unlimited fine.

Report a noise nuisance

Page last reviewed: 16 July 2024