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Nuisances

Report a noise nuisance

Please be aware that, whilst the Coronavirus controls are in place, there may be extra noise from your neighbours due to more people staying at home in line with the current Government advice. We would ask everyone to be tolerant of these unusual circumstances. Please be considerate when playing music or carrying out potentially noisy activities and minimise noise as much as possible.  Please make allowances for each other and understand that stress levels may be high at the moment for all.

To report an issue you need to be registered for a My Account. This will save you having to re-enter information and allow you to track the progress of the report. 

Use this page to get help with noise that is significantly interfering with your home life, affecting your health or is likely to affect your health.

We can investigate complaints from noises which may be significantly impacting your daily life, including:

  • Excessive or persistent barking dogs
  • Loud music and certain noise from neighbours
  • Alarms that have been sounding for an extended period of time
  • Shop delivery trucks at unreasonable hours, for example, before 07:00 or after 23:00
  • Industrial machinery noise
  • Entertainment noise from licensed premises, such as pubs and clubs
  • Construction or demolition noise

There are no set times for when certain noises are, or are not, permitted. The factors mentioned in the investigation section below will all be taken into account to determine if a noise is considered a nuisance.

Sometimes a noise may be annoying, but it may not be a nuisance as far as the law is concerned.

We are unable to help you with:

  • Noise from unknown sources
  • Day-to-day domestic noise, for example mowing, washing machines, vacuuming, footsteps and talking
  • Noise associated with normal reasonable household behaviour
  • Noise caused by poor sound insulation
  • Young children playing
  • Banging doors
  • Fireworks
  • Emergency vehicles, for example police sirens
  • Road traffic noise – more information can be found at Highways England and Somerset County Council
  • Railway noise can be reported to Network Rail
  • Aircraft noise can be reported to the Civil Aviation Authority

  1. Keeping the noise down

    It is important to consider your neighbours and try to minimise the noise you are making.

    DO
    • Be aware of your neighbours when you are doing something noisy or let them know beforehand (especially if holding a party)
    • Keep the stereo volume down, especially after 11pm, or use headphones
    • Control the bass level; low frequencies are transmitted further and through structures
    • Remember if you live in a flat or maisonette, that noise and vibration travel easily through walls and floors
    • Realise that your pleasure should not lead to your neighbours distress
    • Pull TVs and speakers away from walls and up off floors
    • Keep musical instrument practices short and at respectable times

    DON'T
    • Carry out noisy DIY before 8.00am or after 9pm and be mindful of neighbours even between these hours
    • If possible avoid DIY on Sundays
    • Play music at a level which annoys your neighbours
    • Have frequent noisy parties in your home
    • Leave dogs alone for long periods
    • Sound car horns, slam doors and rev engines at night - you might wake someone up

  2. What should I do?

    The people creating the noise may not know that they are causing a problem.

    Get in contact with them before reporting the issue to us. This way you can resolve matters quickly and maintain a good relationship.

    If you don't feel comfortable speaking to the individual or business, use this template letter to help you.

    Keep a copy of your letter and start recording any events that affect you or that you feel are a cause for concern.

    You can download our noise record sheet.

    For neighbour noise, once you have registered a complaint with us using the button below, we will give you access to submit noise recordings using the Noise App on your phone. You will be asked to sign up for, or sign in to, your account before completing the form.

    The app can be downloaded free of charge:

    Further information about the app can be found on the Noise App leaflet or Youtube.

    For help with the app, view the User Guide or Youtube.

    Right to Reply

    If you have received a letter from the Council to say that a noise nuisance complaint has been made concerning you and/or your property you have a right to reply.  We ask that you do this by completing this form, which can be emailed to ehcaseservices@southsomerset.gov.uk

  3. Will you investigate my complaint?

    We will decide if the noise is a statutory nuisance (covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990) or, in the case of a business, whether they have demonstrated “best practicable means” (if the source of the noise is being used in the correct or most effective way).

    We will consider:

    • If the noise is interfering with your enjoyment of living in your home, for example, by stopping you sleeping
    • the volume the noise
    • the duration of the noise
    • how often the noise occurs
    • the time of day the noise is happening
    • the type of noise
    • where you live
    • your sensitivity to noise

    We may ask you to carry out noise monitoring and this means we will need access to your home.

    If we find that a statutory nuisance exists, we will serve an Abatement Notice. This will require the person responsible to stop or reduce the nuisance noise. This person will also be liable to a fine, if they do not comply with the notice.

    We can only take court action if an Abatement Notice has not been complied with. This will only be considered as a last resort. If we do start court proceedings you must be prepared to give evidence to the Court under oath.

  4. What if my issue is not considered a nuisance?

    We investigate complaints from an impartial position. You may be told that no statutory nuisance was found or that we couldn’t gather enough evidence. In this case, you can take your complaint directly to the Magistrates Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Report a nuisance noise

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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