During this time when the government are instructing us all to stay at home as much as possible, you may be experiencing a different level of noise to normal.
This may be because you or your neighbours are working from home or because children are now at home playing inside and outside their houses.
Whilst this different noise environment may be affecting you because your circumstances have changed, the environmental health team at the council can only act where statutory nuisances are occurring, and would have to be satisfied that the noise affecting you is unreasonable and ongoing.
Noise is simply defined as 'unwanted sound'.
Types of noise nuisances include:
- loud music for long periods of time
- DIY work - drilling, hammering, car repairs
- dogs barking excessively
- house or car alarms sounding for long periods
- noise from commercial/industrial premises
- musical instruments
- parties with excessive noise
- car stereos, engines revving and car horns.
Frequent disturbance by noise is not only annoying but can lead to stress and illness, particularly if it is at unsociable times - for example, at night when people are generally trying to sleep.
If noise is intrusive or excessive it could lead to fines and confiscation of equipment.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, noise emitted from premises (including land) may be a statutory nuisance and a local authority can take action to stop it happening.
Businesses or commercial premises convicted of noise nuisance may be fined up to £20,000.
Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, local authorities also have the power to control noise from construction sites and loudspeakers in the street (ice cream vans).
Private individuals are also able to take their own action by complaint to a magistrate's court and if convicted, people are liable for fines up to £5,000 with a daily fine of £500 for as long as it continues.