Change to our usual service

We're currently experiencing very high demand due to the impact of coronavirus. We will assess complaints of noise, smoke, odour, waste or other statutory nuisance, but we'll be prioritising emergency issues which present a serious public health risk. This means that you may not get an immediate response from our team.

Many complaints we receive are not within the scope of what's considered a statutory nuisance. If your complaint relates to a neighbour noise nuisance, or bonfire, we encourage you to calmly discuss your concerns with your neighbour in the first instance. This will often resolve the issue.

Noise

1. Control of noise

Most new developments will have some associated noise (unwanted sound). This will be either from construction of the development or from the operation once finished.

Planning policy guidance 24 outlines the considerations that developers need to take into account when applying for planning permission. Planners and other consultees will use Planning Policy Guidance Note 24 to assess and help determine noise-sensitive developments for those activities which generate noise. For more information, visit the Planning Portal website.

The British Standard 8223:1999 gives recommendations for the control of noise in and around buildings, and suggests appropriate criteria and limits for different situations. It covers room acoustics for simple situations, but not the design of buildings. This code of practice does not cover vibration control, except where it is evident in the form of radiated sound.

The British Standard 4142:1997 describes methods for determining, at the outside of a building:

  • noise levels from factories, or industrial premises, or fixed installations, or sources of an industrial nature in commercial premises; and
  • background noise level

The standard also describes a method for assessing whether the noise referred to in (1) is likely to give rise to complaints from people residing in the building. The method is not suitable for assessing the noise measured inside buildings or when the background and rating noise levels are both very low.

The Building Regulations Approved Document E covers sound insulation requirements in dwelling-houses, flats, rooms for residential use and schools.