Neighbour Noise

Noisy Neighbours & Noise Issues - Part 7

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Article Covers:

- Noise from your Neighbour
- What you can do
- Legislation and Options in dealing with and managing noise

Noise Law and Other Legislation/Contacts


In your area, the Local Authority may have a 'bylaw' which can control some sources of noise. Approval for bylaws has been gained for such things as street noise, parks/recreation areas and noise sources covered could also include such things as musical instrument playing, singing, radios/stereo use. Your best bet is to ask your Local Authority what, if any of these bylaws may apply in your area.

Loudspeaker Noise in Streets:

From section 62 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, your Local Authority has the power to manage any loudspeaker use in the street. Loudspeaker use in streets to advertise any form of entertainment or business is banned. For other uses this is imposed by a restriction between the hours of 8am and 9pm only.

A Local Authority can give consent to loudspeaker use in streets for the purposes of non-advertising outside the hours of 8am - 9pm, but in specific circumstances and taking due consideration of any effects this may have in the local areas.

Building and Construction Sites:

These sites can be pretty noisy, especially if something is occurring near you and all days of the week. Even if it's not a regular occurrence this kind of noise can literally be deafening.

Your local council has authorities under section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to list and details the ways in which work has to be carried out and conducted, ask them for more help and information.

Noise Act 1996:

The Noise Act 1996 includes capabilities to cover night-time noise nuisances and offences as well as the powers to remove noise making technology (e.g. your neighbours hi-hi system).

Within the act is a standard against which night time noise being caused from a domestic property (your neighbour for instance) can be assessed and investigated. There are penalties within the act such as the £100 fixed penalty notice and where a Local Authority is using these powers they have to declare so by the use of advertisements during a minimum period of 2 months prior to such use.

Car and Vehicle Noise:

Noisy vehicles can be extremely irritating, especially when you're living on or nearby a main road. Some kinds of vehicle noise could be classified as offences under Road Traffic Law (car horn noise for example).

For enquiries that are general concerning noise from specific vehicles, not traffic, you can contact -

Department for Transport
Local Government and the Regions
Transport Environment and Taxation Division
2/03 Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street

Tel: 020 7944 2063
Fax: 020 7944 2069

Environmental Information Access:

Under the Environmental Information Regulations of 1992 individuals have rights to gain information of an environmental nature which is help by a public body (for example your Local Authority). Ask your local council for more information.

Air Traffic Noise:

Can be just as excessive and disturbing, especially if you live near or under a flight path which is being used for domestic or military purposes.

For more information about noise policies on aircraft noise, you should contact -

Department for Transport
Local Government and the Regions
Aviation Environment Division
2/24 Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
Tel: 020 7944 5494
Fax: 020 7944 2191

Complaints concerning noisy aircraft should be made to the following numbers directly -

Heathrow Airport: Freephone 0800 344844

Gatwick Airport: Freephone 0800 393070

Stansted Airport: Freephone 0800 243788

In any other places a complaint should be made directly the operators of the aircraft or the owners of the aerodrome.

If you're suffering with noise from military aircraft, you should contact -

Ministry of Defence
Director Air Staff 4b (Sec) Room 8249
Main Building
Tel No: 0207 218 6020

Other Contacts for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:

Separate information is provided for those residents living in NI, Scotland or Wales by The Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.

Details are -

The Scottish Executive
Air Climate and Engineering Unit
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Tel No: 0131 244 0393
Fax No: 0131 244 0211

National Assembly for Wales
Air Quality and Industrial Pollution Policy Branch
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF1 3NQ
Tel No: 02920 823473
Fax No: 02920 823658

Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland
Air and Local Environmental Quality Branch
River House
48 High Street
Belfast BT1 2DR
Tel: 028 9054 7719
Fax: 028 9025 7300

Part 8: For More Help