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Pollution control - noise

The Environmental Health Team have produced a construction guide detailing developers responsibilities, and what the public should be able to expect in terms of noise and other environmental impacts arising from development. The guides have been released to coincide with the start of Noise Awareness Week on the 23 May 2016 and are attached to this page.

Our officers will investigate complaints about excessive noise and can take action if the noise is considered to be a 'statutory nuisance'.

When is noise nuisance a statutory nuisance?

Noise nuisance is covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This law empowers local authorities to deal with noise from fixed premises. Before action can be taken we have to be sure that the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance.

This means that we have to prove that the noise can affect your health and/or is causing an unreasonable and persistent disturbance to your lifestyle.

There are a number of different sources of noise pollution and therefore the service is categorised into the following:

  • neighbourhood noise (for example, loud music, DIY)
  • commercial noise (for example, noisy machinery, pubs and clubs, factories)
  • aircraft noise
  • barking dogs.

Neighbourhood noise

Excessive noise from neighbours can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. In many cases, the person making the noise is unaware that they are causing a problem and therefore the problem can be sorted out quite quickly.

Where this approach fails we can serve a notice on the offending party requiring them to abate the nuisance. If such a notice is not complied with then legal action can follow.

Read about action taken by South Derbyshire's Environmental Health officers on the BBC.

Report online: anti-social behaviour report form.

Commercial noise

Noise from commercial premises is often dealt with in the same way as that from a domestic premises. However, in some cases we may not need to prove a statutory nuisance where the premises holds a public entertainment licence. These licences are issued in order to ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum. Action can be taken against a premises that operates outside of its licensing agreement.

Construction sites are a very common source of noise pollution. They are often in areas which were quiet beforehand and therefore the noise generated from their activities are very noticeable. Construction noise is an anticipated part of a development and therefore is considered necessary to some extent. However, restrictions can be placed on such elements as working hours and, at the planning stage, the route which vehicles take to a site.

Aircraft noise

Aircraft noise is excluded from Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which means that we have no direct responsibility in relation to noise from aircraft departing or landing. However, we liaise with North West Leicestershire District Council with regards to East Midlands airport and can offer further information in this area.

Barking dogs

Barking is a normal dog behaviour which can become a nuisance. It can disturb neighbours, keep owners up at night or frighten visitors. Dogs can bark if they are excited, frustrated, protective, bored or anxious.

Reporting noise pollution

you can contact customer services on 01283 595795. Staff will take the details and generate a complaint form, which is passed on to the relevant officer to investigate the problem. Alternatively you can use this website: anti-social behaviour report form (Neighbourhood Noise) or general enquiry / report form (Other)

Noise Frequently Asked Questions

Contact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Environmental Services
Civic Offices
Civic Way
Swadlincote
Derbyshire
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595795
Fax: 01283 595855
Online: anti-social behaviour report form (Neighbourhood Noise) or general enquiry / report form (Other)
email: environmental.health@south-derbys.gov.uk

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Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

Also on our website