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Noise nuisance investigations

The Council have a legal duty to investigate noise nuisance complaints, unless they are anonymous. In other words, unless you are prepared to give your details we will not investigate your complaint.

How are decisions about noise nuisance made?

Most noise would not be considered a statutory nuisance. Investigating officers have to consider the following when deciding if a noise is unreasonable:

  • Time of day
  • Location
  • Duration of each individual noise event
  • Volume of the noise
  • Character of the noise
  • Frequency with which noisy events occur

We have to consider how the noise would affect the ‘average’ person and are unable to consider people who may be particularly sensitive, such as shift workers.

Report a new noise complaint

Noises that cannot be investigated

There are some types of noise which would not generally be investigated as case law would not support legal action. These include:

  • Noise from moving vehicles
  • Everyday domestic noise such as banging doors and flushing toilets
  • DIY noise at reasonable times of the day
  • Shouting and screaming
  • Short-lived one-off events
  • Children playing
  • Vacuuming and other domestic appliances at reasonable times of day
  • Traffic noise

Noise nuisance and the law

There are no legal limits on decibel levels in nuisance law, so everyone can have a different opinion on what is reasonable. The council officers who investigate noise complaints are trained in making this judgement.

Useful links

This factsheet explains what you can do and how the Council investigate complaints of noise nuisance.

Here you can download Nuisance recording sheet (PDF Document, 150.81 Kb)

Further advice is given in the Defra bothered by noise leaflet (PDF Document, 248.62 Kb)

Please note - we may share your information with the Police to detect and prevent crime.

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