How we tackle problems of noise, and the range of duties and legal powers which can help

This page outlines the main types of noise problems and the powers available for dealing with them.

Excessive noise can make life a misery. It is a source of irritation and stress for many people and can interfere with rights to peaceful enjoyment of their homes.

Key work areas

We take problems of noise seriously and have a range of duties and legal powers which can help. These include:

  • Measuring noise levels from commercial, industrial and recreational sources to check whether meet acceptable standards
  • Investigating noise complaints and taking action for noise abatement
  • Planning controls - imposing noise controls when planning applications are considered, working to prevent noise levels from ‘creeping’ up due to successive developments over a period of years
  • Licensing controls - imposing noise controls on places of public entertainment when licence applications are considered
  • Construction noise controls - promoting good practice on demolition and building sites

Proactive noise control

Approximately 200 planning applications per year are received by Environmental Health for consideration with regard to likely noise impact of the proposed development. Responses vary from a conclusion that the development will be unlikely to have noise impact, through to the imposition of conditions on the consent, such as noise insulation requirements, limitation on hours of operation, prior approval of noise-creating plant or machinery, or boundary noise limits.