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Noise problems

Loud noises can cause upset and distress to people in their homes. If you are having problems with excessive noise then there are things that you can do to help solve the problem.

How can you deal with noise problems?

The first thing you should do is speak to the person or business who is causing the noise problem.  They may not realise there is a problem and will often help.

If this has not helped the problem then you can report the problem to us.  If the noise is happening outside of office hours please call 01792 636595.

What can the council do about noise problems?

Once you have registered a complaint you will be placed on our out of hours register.  You should then contact us each time a noise issue occurs and we will investigate where possible.  If the noise is witnessed by the investigating officer they will decide if it is a statutory nuisance.  The noise may need to be witnessed a number of times.  

If it is decided that the noise is a nuisance then an abatement notice will be served on the person responsible for the noise.  If they fail to comply with this notice then they will be prosecuted.  You may be asked to appear in court as a witness.

Noises that we cannot deal with include children or youths causing annoyance, shouting and banging of doors, noise from traffic, military aircraft or civil aircraft.

How can you prevent excessive noise from your home?

  • Don't put speakers on the walls
  • Make sure you can hear the doorbell over the music or TV
  • Keep volume levels low late at night
  • Inform your neighbours if you are having a party
  • Do not leave your dog unattended for long periods of time
  • If your dog is barking - see why and quieten it
  • Do not use your washing machine or tumble dryer late at night
  • If you are returning from a night out keep noise levels down - close car doors gently and speak quietly.
  • Above all be reasonable if your neighbour approaches you with a problem.

If you make excessive noise and are prosecuted then the council has the power to remove all equipment that may contribute to the nuisance. This includes televisions, DVD and Blu-ray players, stereos, radios, games consoles and computers. If found guilty of the nuisance then the council can apply to keep these items. You will also have a criminal record.

Beware the noisy nightclub

Exposure to extremely loud music for hours at a time can pose a risk to your hearing. Noise damage is hard to notice until it is too late and the damage is permanent.

Remember sounds are too loud if

  • you can't talk to someone two metres away without shouting. Take a break and go to a quieter area.
  • you can't hear properly or have ringing in your ears after exposure to high levels of noise.

If you use headphones

  • don't turn the volume up to drown out background noise.
  • give your ears a break and don't use headphones all the time.
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