Noise and nuisance
Report a noise or nuisance
Your details, as the complainant, will be kept confidential during initial stages of the investigation. If formal action is taken and the case goes to court, your details can no longer be kept confidential.
To justify a statutory nuisance the council needs to establish the date, time, frequency, duration and intensity of the nuisance that affects residents. We ask people affected by nuisance to keep representative record sheets for us, typically for a two-to-three-week period. For noise nuisance, you can record instances of noise issues using the NoiseApp - further information about this will be emailed to you upon receipt of your complaint. The records must be made as events happen, not after the event.
In all complaints of statutory nuisance, the complainant is required to identify the source of the issue, be that odour, noise, smoke, light etc.
The assessment of nuisance is based upon the impact on the ‘average person’. This means that specific intolerances or sensitivities to particular issues cannot be taken into account.
In addition, the actions must be unreasonable, and issues such as the following which are generally as a result of the ordinary use of a domestic dwelling are unlikely to amount to statutory nuisance:
- cooking odours from homes
- children playing
- doors banging/slamming
- footsteps and noise from the ordinary use of a home (washing machines, vacuum cleaners etc)
- flushing the toilet
- moving furniture
- Lawn mower/strimmer/hedge cutter
- DIY at reasonable times
For legal reasons we cannot accept:
- anonymous complaints
- complaints where access to the complainants premises is not allowed by the complainant.
Anonymous complaints cannot be investigated due to the following:
- The council has a duty to remain impartial when investigating allegations of statutory nuisance, this is not possible without dialogue with the complainant
- Without knowing the address affected it is difficult to determine whether the alleged nuisance is causing a material inconvenience to the complainant within their own home
- Witnessing the issue would be difficult, as officers would not know the most appropriate time to attend. Nuisance record sheets provide the intelligence on when to witness and assess the issue.
- Any breach of notice would be unenforceable as either
- we would not know about it at the time it was happening and/or
- we would not be able to establish the effect on the complainant.