Noise control

Find out about noise nuisance and what can you do about it.

How we can help with noise nuisance

If you are suffering from regular or unreasonable noise nuisance and you have tried to speak with the people responsible, download and complete our diary sheets  [Microsoft Word document, 41Kb]. The diary sheets allow you to make a record of how often the noise is happening and how it affects you. Without the completed diary sheet, we cannot investigate the noise nuisance complained of. Once we have received these completed diary sheets, we will start an investigation into the noise.

If you are not able to print the diary sheets at home you can contact the office directly at environmental.health@northlincs.gov.uk requesting that the sheets are sent to your home address. Please return any completed diary sheets back to Environmental Health and Housing, Church Square House in Scunthorpe, or email them to us on environmental.health@northlincs.gov.uk.

Our procedure for dealing with domestic noise complaints [PDF, 423Kb] can provide more information.

It is difficult to give a definition of noise nuisance – we all make noise at some time whether at home, work or leisure.

In domestic situations, this can often include watching TV loudly, playing music loudly, having regular parties or barbeques, using DIY equipment, dogs barking, and when generally going about our daily lives.

You may also live close to a business, pub or leisure activity which causes unreasonable disturbance to you at home.

Excessive and inconsiderate noise is unacceptable when it affects the quality of other people’s lives.

If you are suffering from noise nuisance, talk to the source of the noise. Many problems can be dealt with in this way, as the source of the noise may not even be aware they are causing you a problem.

When we receive a completed diary sheet about noise nuisance, we will always write to the source of the noise to tell them that we will be investigating the allegation. We have a duty to investigate all noise complaints, even if you do not think you are making a noise.

We are unable to tell you who has complained.

If we are satisfied that noise coming from your property is causing a nuisance, we will invite you to attend a noise interview. This may include playing you recordings of the noise so that you can understand the impact your noise is having on other people.

In general, we can only deal with noise coming from a premise: for example a house, garden, land or commercial building.

We can deal with noise from stationary vehicles, machinery and equipment on the highway. For example, a car alarm or noisy generator.

In areas of mixed residential, commercial and industrial premises, some noise should be expected.

There are a number of different regimes and laws which aim to control commercial and industrial noise. For example, a premises licence, planning permission or an Environmental Permit.

Noise from pubs, clubs and live music events

In addition to controls provided under noise nuisance laws, noise from pubs, clubs and live music events may also be controlled by a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice. These are issued by the council’s Licensing team.

Noise from construction and demolition sites

Construction and demolition is a necessary activity that routinely takes place to improve and develop our area. It is inevitable that some noise and disturbance will occur where residents live in close proximity to development sites.

Builders can help minimise noise by organising their noisy activities to take place during reasonable hours of the day. Site working hours will vary across different sites and depending upon the nature of the work, however we would not expect sites to work on Sundays and  bank holidays, or before 7am. Some work during night time hours and weekends is unavoidable, particularly on the transport network.

The Control of Pollution Act 1974 Section 60 enables the council to serve a notice to control noise from building sites. Noise from very large building sites may also be controlled by a planning condition.

Noise from bird scarers

Bird scarers are routinely used to protect crops. If noise from bird scarers disturbs you before sunrise or after sunset, or fires more than four times in an hour, you should speak to the farmer to let him know how it affects you.

The National Farmers Union has prepared a code of practice on the use of audible bird scarers.

Report commercial noise nuisance

To report commercial noise, you need to provide us with the following information:

  • Your name, address and contact information
  • The premises or land where the noise is coming from
  • The name of the person responsible for the premises or land
  • How often the noise is happening and at what times of day

In general, we can only deal with noise coming from a premises: for example a house, garden, land or commercial building.

We are not able to deal with general road traffic noise. Noise from individual noisy vehicles on a residential road can be reported to the Police by calling 101.

We do not deal with aircraft noise. If departing or landing aircraft is causing you a nuisance, please contact the Civil Aviation Authority

We are unable to deal with noise from railways.