Noise, bonfires and other nuisance


It is a fact of life that we all make noise. Excessive noise can make life a misery and reduce the quality of life, for example through lack of sleep or inability to concentrate.

Noisy neighbours and noise from industry or construction sites are just some of the problems that can be experienced.

Everyone perceives noise nuisance differently. It's not just about how loud something is, but what is acceptable to the average person. Noise is generally considered to be unwanted sound, but what one person considers unwanted may not seem unreasonable to someone else.

Before taking action we have to decide, as an enforcing authority, what is reasonable and what is not.

If something is unreasonable to the average person, a court might decide it is a statutory nuisance. Noise nuisance is covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). This law empowers local authorities to deal with noise from fixed premises (including land) if they consider that the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance. Proceedings may be taken against noise from factories, shops, pubs, dwellings, intruder alarms and stationary vehicles.

Alternatively you can take independent action by complaining direct to the Magistrate Court under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This is quite simple and need not cost much; you do not need to employ a solicitor, but it is advisable to obtain some legal advice.

Other types of nuisance

Other types of Nuisance that we investigate include:

  • Commercial bonfires
  • Accumulations of rubbish
  • Light pollution
  • Insects
  • Odour from industry
  • Sewage smells from spreading and treatment plants
  • Cooking smells from commercial kitchens
  • Dust from construction sites
  • Dust from industry