Report a noise nuisance
Use this page to get help with noise that is interfering with your home life, affecting your health or is likely to affect your health.
We can investigate complaints noises which may be impacting your daily life, including:
- Excessive or persistent barking dogs
- Loud music or shouting from neighbours
- Alarms that have been sounding for an extended period of time
- Shop delivery trucks at unreasonable hours, for example, before 07:00 or after 23:00
- Industrial machinery noise
- Entertainment noise from licensed premises, such as pubs and clubs
- Construction or demolition noise
There are no set times for when certain noises are, or are not, permitted. The factors mentioned in the investigation section below will all be taken into account to determine if a noise is considered a nuisance.
Sometimes a noise may be annoying, but it may not be a nuisance as far as the law is concerned.
We are unable to help you with:
- Noise from unknown sources
- Day-to-day domestic noise, for example mowing, washing machines, vacuuming
- Emergency vehicles, for example police sirens
- Road traffic noise – more information can be found at Highways England and Somerset County Council
- Railway noise – this can be reported to Network Rail
- Aircraft noise – this can be reported to the Civil Aviation Authority
What should I do?
The people creating the noise may not know that they are causing a problem.
Get in contact with them before reporting the issue to us. This way you can resolve matters quickly and maintain a good relationship.
If you don't feel comfortable speaking to the individual or business, use this template letter to help you.
Keep a copy of your letter and start recording any events that affect you or that you feel are a cause for concern.
You can download our noise record sheet.
The app can be downloaded free of charge:
Further information about the app can be found on the Noise App guidance.
For help with the app, view the user guide.
Will you investigate my complaint?
We will decide if the noise is a statutory nuisance (covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990) or, in the case of a business, whether they have demonstrated “best practicable means” (if the source of the noise is being used in the correct or most effective way).
We will consider:
- If the noise is interfering with your enjoyment of living in your home, for example, by stopping you sleeping
- the volume the noise
- the duration of the noise
- how often the noise occurs
- the time of day the noise is happening
- the type of noise
- where you live
- your sensitivity to noise
We may ask you to carry out noise monitoring and this means we will need access to your home.
If we find that a statutory nuisance exists, we will serve an Abatement Notice. This will require the person responsible to stop or reduce the nuisance noise. This person will also be liable to a fine, if they do not comply with the notice.
We can only take court action if an Abatement Notice has not been complied with. This will only be considered as a last resort. If we do start court proceedings you must be prepared to give evidence to the Court under oath.
What if my issue is not considered a nuisance?
We investigate complaints from an impartial position. You may be told that no statutory nuisance was found or that we couldn’t gather enough evidence. In this case, you can take your complaint directly to the Magistrates Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.