The law expects that people will put up with a “reasonable” amount of noise being caused by others as part of their normal daily activities. However, if it is unreasonable there may well be grounds for taking action.
In the first instance it is suggested that you should make the person creating the nuisance aware of how it is affecting you and ask if they can do something to help.
What can we do?
If speaking to your neighbour fails, you should contact us on 01522 873249, or call in at City Hall. If you wish to make a formal complaint you will be asked to give full details of the complaint. You can also fill in our online anti-social behaviour form.
Whilst we try to treat all complaints in confidence, there may be occasions when we will be required to release information to third parties, especially when we may be required to take legal proceedings. It is also possible that the person causing the alleged nuisance will guess who has made the complaint. If informal approaches fail, it may be necessary for you to give evidence in legal proceedings.
You should consider before making the complaint that although our procedures are generally effective it can occasionally aggravate the situation.
Some types of noise nuisance are more easily dealt with than others. For instance many of the complaints received relate to the playing of loud music, television, barking dogs or noise from machinery and these can normally be dealt with under the powers available to us. Other complaints such as noisy children, banging of doors, late night arrivals and departures, do not readily lend themselves to enforcement action. However, in these cases where it would be difficult to take formal enforcement action we may still be able to assist you by either taking informal action or by advising you on the best course of action.
What will I need to do when I complain?
After you have registered your complaint a letter will be sent (normally within five working days) to the person causing the alleged nuisance that may have the effect of stopping it. You will also be sent a form to enable you to record details of the nuisance. A booklet explaining about noise nuisance is available to download here.
If after 14 days the nuisance still continues you are asked to return the record sheet when filled out with times, dates and details of incidents within that period which have caused you a nuisance. Such a record of events is very important as evidence in demonstrating the extent of nuisance should any legal proceedings be necessary. It also useful for the investigating officer to establish a pattern of the noisy incidents. After that you will then be contacted by the investigating officer to discuss an appropriate course of action to investigate your complaint further.
What happens then?
Investigation may be carried out either by visits or by means of a tape recording system that may be installed in your home. If the officer is not satisfied that there is a nuisance, you will be advised on the action you can take yourself.
If the officer is satisfied about the nuisance a legal notice will be served requiring that the nuisance is stopped or restricted. Any further nuisance would be a contravention of the notice and legal proceedings would be likely to follow. You would be required to give a Statement of Evidence and, if necessary, to appear in court.