Tell us what you think about our site... Noise or neighbour nuisance - Warwick District Council

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  • If the noise is being produced by members of one household please complete the online form using the link below.
  • If the noise is being produced by members of more than one household as part of a gathering or party, this should be reported to the Police by calling 101 in addition to completing the online form using the link below.

The council investigates noise from commercial premises (for example, pubs and clubs), industrial premises and from domestic premises. Noise from aircraft, road traffic and noise in the street is specifically excluded from the legislation we can enforce. 

Council officers do not hold powers to stop noise in progress. Officers may witness noise and gather suitable evidence for the purpose of serving an abatement notice or supporting a prosecution.

How to report a noise nuisance

You can report a noise nuisance by either completing the online form, or by using The Noise App to make audio recordings:

You can also keep a record of recurring noise nuisance using the noise record sheet (PDF).

Neighbour noise

Whether from dogs barking, activating car or building alarms, loud stereos, shouting and banging, all complaints are investigated.

Noise from neighbours is a common source of disturbance. Everyone can expect some noise from the people who live around them. This could include any of the following reasons

  • The neighbours are behaving unreasonably
  • The neighbours are behaving normally, but sound insulation in your home is not good enough to cut out the sounds of normal everyday living
  • The sensitivity of people to different types of noise varies – sounds that some enjoy may annoy others

First, approach your neighbour and explain politely that you are being troubled by noise. You may find this difficult but often people are unaware that they are causing a problem. However, approach the matter carefully if you think your neighbour may react angrily to a complaint.

If an informal approach is unsuccessful, and you make a complaint to this authority,  the normal practice would be for us to send an initial letter to the complainant confirming the details of their complaint and enclosing a form which the complainant must sign and return within 10 days. This is a necessary step which ensures accuracy as this starts off an official investigatory process that could potentially end up in a court of law. 

Only upon receipt of the completed confirmation form, will this authority then send a letter to the alleged offender, giving details of the complaint. Whilst we would not release your details at this stage, you need to be aware that if the matter ultimately has to go to court, you may be required to attend and give evidence. You will receive a second letter at the same time, this letter has a noise record sheet enclosed. If the problem continues after we have written to the people involved, the record sheet should be completed with details of any further incidents of nuisance, giving details of dates, times, the cause of the nuisance and the effect it has on you. 

When you believe you have sufficient evidence on the record sheet, please send it through the report noise nuisance form. You can also submit it by post to Warwick District Council, Environmental Services, Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Royal Leamington Spa CV32 5HZ. We will then contact you to discuss what action can be taken.

We will consider the type of noise, how often and at what time it occurs. Normal daytime noise (for example, conversations, flushing toilets, mowing the lawn, vacuuming at a reasonable time of day) would not generally be considered a nuisance, even if it was disturbing someone trying to sleep during the day.

In most cases, we will need to witness the noise to determine if it is a statutory nuisance as defined by the Environmental Protection Act (1990). This requires that officers need access to the complainant’s property to assess the nuisance. If we are satisfied that a nuisance exists we would serve a noise abatement notice on the perpetrator. If the person, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the notice, he or she is liable for prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court. We also have the power to confiscate any equipment that is causing a noise nuisance.  We would normally visit on three occasions in order to carry out a reasonable and practicable investigation.  If we haven't witnessed a statutory noise nuisance we would normally close the case at this point and not re-open unless the character of the noise (level, duration and frequency) had changed significantly.

If for whatever reason, the council is unsuccessful in resolving your complaint, you are also entitled to take your own action if you wish by complaining direct to the Magistrates’ Court. However, you are strongly advised to obtain legal advice before pursuing such action.

You may also wish to consider whether the problem could more easily be resolved by mediation.

Council tenants 

Information about noise nuisance in council-owned properties.

Student houses in multiple occupation

If you have concerns about student property in your local area, you can contact the Student Housing Enforcement Officer for an informal discussion. It could be antisocial behaviour, tenancy management, lack of property maintenance by the landlord/tenant, or your neighbours have informed you in advance that they are holding a gathering. Contact Rebecca.frazer@warwickdc.gov.uk

Out of Hours Service

The service is operated by members of the Health and Community Protection team, and is made available to people who have already made a complaint to us, at the stage where we are trying to witness the alleged nuisance. They will attend to witness the noise and decide whether it is considered to be a statutory nuisance, in order to determine whether enforcement action is warranted. This will be dealt with retrospectively, dependent on what is witnessed at the time. The team are there solely as witnesses; they do not visit the source of the nuisance.

Car alarms 

There are powers which the council can exercise to silence alarms, usually involving breaking into vehicles. However, legal procedures have to be followed and this form of action is only taken when other ways of dealing with the problem have been explored.

Commercial noise 

Noise nuisance from commercial buildings such as factories, pubs and clubs, can all be dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and each case needs to be assessed on its merits. This may involve investigation of the licensing conditions related to the premises. The fact that a noise causes annoyance does not necessarily mean that the local authority can take formal action to stop it, but we will advise and investigate and, where necessary, use our statutory powers to prevent nuisance being caused. Telephone 01926 456725. 

Construction sites 

Noise from temporary works can be significant, and controls to limit hours of work and equipment used can be exercised. Building and repair works have the potential to cause severe disruption through noise. In the main, people do tolerate such noise because it is for short periods. However, where major works are being carried out or when there is night time work, there may be cause for complaint. Telephone 01926 456725, and the Environmental Services Unit will investigate noise from construction sites and building works and where necessary take formal action to abate noise nuisance. 

It should be borne in mind that there may be limits to our controls. Such work inevitably takes place and therefore we look to ensure that the “best practicable means” are used to prevent noise nuisance. We may, for example, seek to limit working hours or require that certain methods of working are not used. 

DIY building work may also result in annoyance to neighbours. There needs to be a common sense approach to carrying out such work to ensure that neighbours are not unreasonably disturbed. For example, the avoidance of noisy work at unsociable hours and keeping neighbours informed if noisy work is to take place. 

Construction site working - guidance for contractors

Noise in the street 

Noise from vehicles, equipment and machinery in the street can constitute a nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This does not mean that one-off incidents for short periods can be dealt with. There would need to be an element of repetition or of the noise occurring for a prolonged period.  There are restrictions on the use of loud speakers in the street. These are laid down in the Control of Pollution Act 1974. 

Helicopter noise

The noise nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 do not control aircraft / helicopter noise. Unless safety is being compromised or planning law is contravened, we can only refer you to the site operator. For further advice on planning issues, please contact the council's Enforcement Officers on 01926 456557. For further advice on safety issues, please contact the Civil Aviation Authority's Safety Regulation Group at Aviation House, Gatwick Airport South, West Sussex, RH6 0YR or through their website at Civil Aviation Authority .

Intruder alarms

Noise from audible intruder alarms are a frequent cause of complaint.  If, upon investigation, the noise is judged to be a statutory nuisance, legal action may be taken by the council against those responsible for the noise.

If you are affected by noise from someone’s alarm, please wait at least 20 minutes before contacting the service as beyond that time would indicate that there is potentially a fault which requires some intervention either through advice or enforcement.

Alternatively, if the alarm is servicing your own property and activates in your absence, it may also be necessary to obtain a warrant to enter your premises and take whatever action is necessary to silence the alarm. The costs of this would be recharged to the person responsible. 

To prevent such situations occurring please follow the simple guidance below to ensure you do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.  

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