Noise Pollution

A certain amount of noise is an inevitable consequence of modern life, but it can become a nuisance and, if it continues, or becomes loud enough, it becomes a major problem.

What types of noise complaints do we deal with?

Domestic Noise - This includes loud music & home entertainment, DIY & building work, car maintenance /repairs, late-night parties, barking dogs, household & people noise, intruder & vehicle alarms.

Commercial Noise - This includes factory noise, fan noise, chiller noise, delivery noise, construction site noise and music from pubs and clubs (licensed premises).

What should you do and how to report a noise issue 

If you are affected by noise nuisance you should first try to resolve the problem direct with the person making the noise. Excessive noise from neighbours can be annoying and cause unnecessary stress and worry. In many cases it may simply be that they are unaware of the problem.

You can Report Environmental Pollution, including noise pollution, to us using our online form.  If you are reporting this outside of office hours, please note we will deal with the request between 9-5 Monday to Friday.  If this noise complaint is urgent, please call our out of office number on 01279 655 261.

If you're concerned that you're a noisy neighbour please read our Tips on Keeping Noise Levels Down.

What will we be able to do?

We will investigate and will need to prove the noise is a statutory nuisance. Wherever appropriate we will prosecute. It does depend on the complaint, but generally we will assess the situation and/or ask whoever has made the complaint to monitor and log the problem. You may be asked to complete a Noise Nuisance Diary where you will be expected to keep the diary of events over a period of 14 days before returning it to the council. Before completing the diary we recommend that you discuss your problem with one of our officers first.

If we find a statutory nuisance is being, or is likely to be, caused we will serve an Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires the person responsible / the occupier or owner of the premises (as appropriate) to stop the nuisance. Failure to comply with an Abatement Notice is an offence and may result in legal action.

Intruder & Vehicle Alarms

Intruder and vehicle alarms causing a statutory nuisance can be silenced by action by an Environmental Health Officer.

This may involve serving a statutory notice and obtaining a warrant to gain entry to the property or removal of the vehicle to a suitable lace to allow the alarm to be silenced.

The costs will then be charged to the owner or occupier of the premises, or the registered owner of the car.

To avoid either situation, property & vehicle owners are recommended to have their alarms fitted by a competent installer, ensure it has an automatic cut-out which will silence it shortly after it has been activated, check the alarm regularly to make sure it is still operating correctly and have faults rectified immediately.

Intruder alarms - Join the Voluntary Registration Scheme

East Herts Council offers a voluntary registration scheme for home owners and businesses. Registering your alarm will provide contact names and telephone numbers for key holders so that someone can be contacted if your alarm is reported to be causing a nuisance or annoyance. The aim of this is to notify the persons responsible for the alarm or their nominated key-holders without the need for any formal action. If you wish to register key-holder details please complete the form in the Audible Intruder Alarms - Voluntary Registration Scheme [268KB] leaflet.

Licensed Premises

If noise is coming from Licensed Premises then we may not need to prove a statutory nuisance. Licences are issued with conditions in order to ensure that disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum. Action can be taken against premises that operate outside of its licensing conditions.

Construction sites

Construction noise is part of development and therefore a restriction on working hours is often prescribed as part of their planning permission, however it can also be controlled by Environmental Health.

Generally the Council would expect noisy work on construction and demolition sites to be limited to:

  • Monday to Friday - 07:30 to 18:30-hrs
  • Saturday - 07:30 to 13:00-hrs
  • At no time on Sundays or Public Holidays

If you have concerns about the noise from a construction or demolition site you should contact the Environmental Health team.

Aircraft noise

We have no powers in relation to aircraft noise, please contact the Civil Aviation Authority.

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