What are the legal rules on noise?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by cornethorn_e_babe, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Strange one but I wonder if anyone can give any help?
    I obviously play a musical instrument and I know that it can be loud at times but I am careful not to practice beyond 9pm because of our neighbours.

    Now on a totally different level, the house next door is being renovated and they've got some chaps in there who although seem very good, cannot speak a word of English and carry on working twith thier sanders, drills and hammers until sometimes gone 2am. I tried to speak to them to ask them what time they intended to finish that night but they just looked at me blankly and started speaking what I can only imagine was some type of arabic dialect. The boss chap never seems to be around anymore, having been for the first 2 months, when he was they'd pack up and leave at 5pm!

    They've applied for planning permission to build a 2 storey extension and whilst we hre more than happy for them to do this, as we'd like to do the same, we are concerned the building work will proceed on til the same amount of hours.

    What are the rules on noise levels and time noise should stop, I can't find any details with our local council, can anyone help?
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Nope - they cannot do that - it's noise pollution.

    You have a few choices; report them to the police, report them to the environmental services department of your local council. I believe the cut-off time is 11:00pm.
  3. Cheers, thanks.
    I wouldn't dream of playing until 2am, I just wasn't sure what was the cut off or the options you have in such circumstances.
    Thanks very much, appreciated!
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Sure. Let us know how you get on and what transpires yeah...:) good luck.
  5. clare_euph

    clare_euph Member

    I think legally it is 11pm. If it all gets too much, the local council will be able to help and serve some sort of abatement notice! 2am is really excessive though!! Good luck!!
  6. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Some advice, as a Local Authority Planning Officer:

    1) Contact your local planning office. If you make your concerns known the planning officer may put a condition on the permission restricting the hours of construction for the two storey extension. The amenity of local residents is a material planning consideration and the officer can, if he/she wants condition construction times. However, it must be noted that I certainly don't use such conditions on residential extensions as normal practice. I would definitely advise giving the planning office a ring to see what they say.

    2) Contact your local council Environmental Health Officer (EHO) who can advise on noise nuisance. Under sections 80 and 81 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, (as amended by the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993), local authorities have a duty to deal with any noise which they consider to be a statutory nuisance. If they visit or witness the noise and are satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, they must take immediate action. If the noise is intermittent, they may ask you to keep details of the noise in the form of a diary, or leave equipment to record it.

    Sometimes they will measure the noise as part of their investigation into a complaint. There is no set level at which noise becomes a statutory nuisance.

    If the local authority consider the noise to be a nuisance then an abatement notice may be served.

    If, for whatever reason, the local authority does not take action, or if you do not wish to involve them, you can complain about a noise problem direct to the magistrates court under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

    The magistrates court will need to be persuaded that the noise problem amounts to a statutory nuisance.

    More info on this can be found at DEFRA

    Hope this is of some help.
  7. That is absolutely fanatsic many thanks.
    Having spoken with the neighbours on the other side too, they are on the train of thought too.
    Last night I came back from a concert at 1.15am and they were still working away, but when I asked them to stop, I just get blank looks!
    Luckily they must have either finished or realised people were complaining and stopped within another half an hour.
    I shall certain approach the council on Monday for advice.
  8. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Simple go round and pull the plugs out if they start up agian you take them out again but then get some wire cutters and cut the plugs off:biggrin:
    I hope this puts a :) on your face when you see this .
    Its just my sense of humour
  9. blakeyboy

    blakeyboy Member

    I've always thought the rule was between 11pm and 7am for excessive noise to be qualified for some sort of "order" against whoever is making the noise from substantial complaints. It also remains down to the local authority and their certain leniencies....who knows, rules are made to be broken apparently.
  10. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I believe that noise can be a statutory nuisance at any time of the day. I just suppose that at night when background noise is reduced, it becomes easier for a noise to become a nuisance.
  11. I had to laugh, over the weekend they parked a traffic cone outside our house, in readiness for them returning at some point over the weekend.
    I moved it, it was blocking my drive I then got a mouthful of abuse, in English, for my trouble and there was me thinking they didn't understand English, after all the blank looks they gave me.
    Council is on to them though as others have complained regarding the noise levels too.