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Noise Pollution

Noise Pollution can cause stress and anxiety. We have a team of officers who can investigate noise pollution, provide advice and where necessary take enforcement action to resolve statutory noise nuisance.

Noise or unwanted sound can cause annoyance, stress and in extreme circumstances, sleep deprivation.

The range of noise problems we deal with includes:

If you are experiencing noise problems from a council property, this will be dealt with by our tenancy services section.

We can only investigate noise from "premises" e.g. houses, factories, pubs etc. Noise in the streets can only be investigated if it is caused by vehicle alarms or loudspeakers in vehicles.

For construction sites, as a guide, there should be no noisy works before 7.30am and after 6pm during the week and no noisy works before 8am and after 1pm on a Saturday, and no noisy works on Sundays and bank holidays.

We do not have powers to deal with aircraft, railway and road traffic noise.

Whilst most noise problems can often be resolved informally between neighbours, we do have powers to take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with complaints of noise nuisance.

In most cases the Council deals with noise problems by assessing whether the noise is unreasonable taking into account factors such as loudness, time of day, how often it occurs and how long it lasts. Noise which is unreasonable is then dealt with as a 'statutory nuisance' under the powers in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It is unlikely that one off parties would be considered as a statutory nuisance.

How we can help?

In 2014/15 we investigated over 750 noise complaints. We investigate complaints about both residential and commercial premises and need the following information:

· The address where the noise is coming from and the name of the person responsible if you know it.

· How the noise is affecting you.

· When and how often it occurs.

How will my complaint be dealt with?

In the first instance we will write to the person causing the noise problem and offer advice. Often people are not aware that they are causing a problem. However if the problem continues we ask you to complete a diary and return it to us.  If the diary sheets are not returned we will assume that the first letter has resolved your complaint and that no further action is required.

Once your record sheets have been returned the officer will contact you and discuss the case with you, setting out the method they will use to investigate your complaint.

What actions can we take?

The information you provide on the diary sheets will help the case officer to assess the noise problem and decide what action can be taken.

We can take action if the noise pollution is a nuisance in law (a "statutory nuisance"). We will assess the noise to see if it is sufficient to be a nuisance.

We can then serve a notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring the noise pollution to be stopped. The scope of the notice will vary with different circumstances, and may require an immediate stop to the noise or prohibit its recurrence, or, in cases where some work is necessary, allow a specified time for compliance.

Failure to comply with an abatement notice is an offence and the Council can prosecute. We may also take what is called 'default action' in some cases, and this could involve disabling car or intruder alarms or seizing stereo equipment.

The Defra website provides useful information on noise including a downloadable booklet Bothered by Noise, which offers important advice on dealing with noise problems

Please contact Environmental Protection Services if you require further information or you wish to make a complaint about a noise nuisance.

Antisocial behaviour Noise?

Lincolnshire Police:

Lincolnshire police deal with noise from vehicles and other activities, including people making a noise in public streets.

Related documents

Size Name
[2Mb] Licensed Premises Guide A guide for the management of noise and other public nuisances

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.