Report a noise nuisance
If you experience problems with loud, repeated noise causing upset and disturbance you may be able to take action by reporting it to us.
You should always try to solve the problem by talking to whoever is responsible for the noise before contacting us.
You can read our neighbour nuisance guide to find general advice on your rights and the law.
What we can investigate
Noise can be classed as a statutory nuisance. We can investigate if it substantially interferes with the use or enjoyment of your home or is likely to injure health.
Examples of noise nuisance we can investigate are:
- noisy neighbours such as loud music or DIY at night
- burglar and car alarms
- animals such as barking dogs or crowing cockerels
- building sites
- after hours noise from pubs and clubs
- deliveries or waste collections at a commercial property
What we cannot investigate
We cannot investigate:
- if you do not know where the noise is coming from
- everyday household noise, such as footsteps, doors closing, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, children playing, babies crying
- traffic legally using the public highway, aircraft or railway noise
- noise in the street such as gatherings of people, loud or abusive language and unruly behaviour
How to report it
You can make a noise complaint using our online form.
Make sure you include:
- your name and contact details
- a detailed description of the problem
- the location of the problem
- how often it has happened
The more evidence you can provide of the problem you are experiencing and the impact it is having on you, the easier it is for us to respond and find a resolution.
What happens next
We will contact you to discuss the complaint within 10 working days. Cases where there is the potential for a significant risk to public health will be prioritised.
We do not respond to noise complaints out of hours.
During the process of your complaint, it may become necessary for an officer to arrange to visit you to assess the noise outside of normal office hours.
You can also:
- report smells, smoke or rubbish accumulations
- report a problem with a dog
- read our private nuisance action information
Below you can find guidance for types of noise complaints and who to contact if we do not deal with it.
If you have a complaint about aircraft noise, you need to contact the relevant organisation. We cannot deal directly with noise caused by aircraft.
For low flying military aircraft call the RAF on 01895 445566.
A certain amount of noise and inconvenience is to be expected from building sites but construction companies have to minimise this wherever possible.
If the noise is coming from a building site check the site notice for who to contact.
Many factors determine whether noise from a building site can be considered a statutory noise nuisance. This includes the type of noise and whether they are using the most appropriate equipment for the job, how intrusive it is and the time of day it is happening.
When a building site can operate
If a building site is near a residential or business premises, noisy equipment or operations and deliveries should not take place outside the hours of:
- Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays): 7.30am to 6pm
- Saturday: 8am to 1pm
If there needs to be unavoidable late night or early morning work, neighbours should be warned in advance.
You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except for:
- Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight
- New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year when the cut off is 1am
The police are responsible for enforcing fireworks regulations.
If there is noise coming from a neighbour’s house such as a party, you should ask your neighbour politely to reduce the noise. This is the simplest and most effective way to limit noise.
Pubs or clubs
We investigate complaints about noise from premises such as pubs, clubs, village halls and other community buildings and outdoor venues.
Our investigations can be lengthy and require significant evidence to support formal action.
This may result in restrictions, requirements for work to be carried out to reduce noise and in extreme circumstances prosecution with the potential for large fines and instigation of a licensing review.
This can result in changes to the terms of their licence or their licence being suspended or revoked.
It is good practice for premises to:
- check noise from the boundary of neighbouring houses
- contact an acoustic engineer, acoustic consultant or noise and vibration consultant who can install a sound insulation scheme
- keep windows closed
- keep doors closed as much as possible
- designate somebody to control the noise levels for the evening
- consider giving neighbours the name and telephone number of the person responsible for controlling the noise
- install a sound limit or cut out device with the maximum sound level
- do not play music in gardens or play areas
- put up signs to remind people to leave quietly
A rave is defined as a gathering of 20 or more people at which amplified music is played during the night. This can cause distress to people in the local area due to loudness, duration and time when the music is being played.
If a rave is reported, Avon and Somerset Police will use their powers to close a rave, turn off music and disperse the crowd.
We will provide a response if requested by the police.
Any information before a potential event should be given to the police by calling 101. For example, signs of a site being prepared for a gathering or equipment being brought onto a site.
It can be difficult to close down raves once they are taking place so any action that can be taken to prevent them from starting is preferred.
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