On this page, you will find advice and information for people who have received a letter informing them of a noise investigation, including frequently asked questions.

Why have we sent you a letter?

We are simply bringing to your attention that we have received a complaint about noise which is alleged to be coming from your address and to explain what the issue is. We hope that in doing so this might help resolve the issue.

In the majority of cases, most people ensure that any further reasonable cause for complaint does not happen. If you have been incorrectly identified as the source of unreasonable noise the allegation will not reflect badly against your name or address on any record held by The Council and you can ignore the letter.

What will happen next?

Nothing will happen unless we get further complaints.

The person who has complained will be asked to contact us the next time they are disturbed by the noise. In the majority of cases when this happens we will assess the noise from within their home. This may be from the living room, bedroom or garden depending on where they are affected by the noise.

It will be necessary for the complainant to assist us in gathering the evidence needed for the assessment. This may include some or all of the following:

  • When the noise occurs on a frequent basis for periods longer than half an hour (e.g. loud music or when a dog is barking) we will ask the complainant to contact us so that we can attend to witness the noise. We are available both during the day and at night (including weekends)
  • When the noise is intermittent and of short duration (e.g. loud banging) it is likely that we will install one of our electronic recorders. These record noise at the same level the human ear can hear it. If your noise is audible within the complainants home these devices will record that noise.

How do we decide how much noise is too much?

During the investigation the following will be taken into account:

  • The type of noise and the characteristics of your location
  • What time it occurs
  • How often it occurs
  • How long it lasts
  • How loud it is
  • How it affects the complainant
  • How many other people are affected

To be a nuisance the noise must be created unreasonably and be impacting upon someone within their property. If your noise is audible but is not created by unreasonable behaviour then we will not take any further action.

A good example of this might be a complaint of noise created by children playing. Noise of this type frequently gives rise to complaint however children playing at reasonable hours is not considered unreasonable and therefore is highly unlikely to be investigated further.

Resolving the complaint

To help resolve the complaint, ensure that all the noise that you make is reasonable. If you do this then any complaint made won’t be justified and we won’t take any action against you. Put yourself in the position of your neighbours. Be aware that they might have a different lifestyle than you and that your behaviour could be unreasonable as a result.

If however you feel that there could be an element of truth to the complaint then simply be aware of the type of noise being complained of and take sensible steps to reduce the amount of noise you make. For example if you think you may have played your music a bit loud then just be mindful that your neighbours have been able to hear it sufficiently loudly and clearly and were sufficiently annoyed to register a complaint. Not doing it again will make the complaint go away.

Frequently asked questions