We will take reasonable steps to investigate your complaint
and your co-operation will be essential.
You may be requested to keep a log sheet over a period of time
to give the investigating officer an insight into the nature and
frequency of the noise you have complained about. The information
will assist in making a decision on the best way to investigate and
deal with your problem. Your evidence will help to decide whether a
personal visit to the person causing the problem is appropriate or
if sound level measuring or recording equipment should be used
because the noise occurs at night or at irregular intervals. If you
do not complete a log when requested your complaint will be
On completion of the investigation you will be advised of the
conclusions and of any further action which may be possible.
What will the alleged source be told?
When you return your log sheet the Council will consider what
actions are necessary to further investigate your complaint. If it
is decided that noise monitoring equipment will be used to collect
data which may contain personal information then the Council will
write to the alleged source at this point to comply with Human
How long will the investigation take?
This depends upon the nature and frequency of the noise. In some
cases the existence of a noise nuisance can be determined
relatively quickly but others may require more detailed
investigation and evidence gathering.
What we will do if a nuisance is found to
If the Council is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, it
will point this out to the person responsible and will seek to
resolve the problem informally. If this is not possible, an
Abatement Notice will be served requiring the person responsible to
stop or reduce the nuisance. The person receiving the notice can
appeal against the terms of the notice at the Magistrates
What if the nuisance is caused by a
The law recognises that some businesses have to make a noise in
connection with their lawful operations. Therefore Business and
Trade premises are able to defend against an abatement notice by
demonstrating that they are employing the "Best Practicable Means"
to prevent or minimise noise nuisance. In taking abatement action
the Council will have regard to this defence.
We can only take court action following the service of an
abatement notice which has not been complied with. This will only
be considered as a last resort. If the Council initiates court
proceedings then you must be prepared to give evidence to the Court
A person who is found guilty of an offence is liable to a
maximum fine of £5000, or in the case of businesses £20,000.
When we investigate noise complaints they do so from an
impartial position. You may be advised that no nuisance was found
or that it was not possible to gather evidence of nuisance even
after reasonable investigations. In such circumstances you can take
your complaint directly to the Magistrates Court using the
procedure set out in Section 82 of the
Environmental Protection Act 1990.
To do this you will still require a substantial amount of
evidence and should contact the Clerk of the Court at the local
Magistrates Court to discuss the procedure. You may also wish to
seek independent legal advice.