Commercial noise

Sometimes we can be disturbed by excessive noise coming from industrial or commercial premises. Examples are machinery noise, fan noises, vehicle movements, alarms and radios. Where these occur continuously or loudly, or when they are new noises, they can be very irritating.

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If you are disturbed by such a noise, and are able to identify the source, try visiting the premises and speaking to the Site Manager. In many cases, they are not aware that there is a problem and are only too pleased to try and resolve it.

If you are unable to do this, or it is not successful, you can contact Environmental Health for help. You will be asked to provide your own details, and information relating to the noise – what it sounds like, when it occurs, how long it goes on, where it comes from (if you know), and how it affects you. You will also be asked to keep a diary of the disturbance.

Based on your noise diary we will visit both you and the premises, to identify the cause of the problem. Sometimes resolution is simple but sometimes it is more difficult – for example where the noise is associated with the process itself. In these situations officers may take noise measurements at your property. We will give an opinion on how unreasonable, or not, the noise is. We have to take into account that in mixed residential/commercial areas a certain amount of noise should be expected.

If we consider the noise unreasonable, we will work to achieve a resolution with an appropriate timescale, and try to maintain the co-operation of the management.

Where progress is slow, or co-operation not achieved, we may serve a Abatement Notice which incorporates our proposed resolutions and timescales, requiring action to be taken. The recipient of the Notice may appeal against its requirements, which may delay the resolution of the problem.

In rare cases where the conditions of the Notice are not complied with, and the problem still persists, legal proceedings may follow.