Noise

Complaints about noise are investigated by our Environmental Health Officers.

We can take action if the noise is considered to be a statutory nuisance. There is no maximum acceptable noise level, and each case is judged on its individual circumstances.

To make a complaint about any of the types of noise detailed below, contact us.

We do not investigate anonymous complaints. You must always provide us with your details.

Types of noise

We can help with:

  • neighbourhood noise (such as loud music)
  • car alarms
  • household intruder alarms
  • commercial noise (such as noisy machinery, pubs and clubs)
  • barking dogs and other noisy animals.

We are unable to help with noise from day to day activities, unless they are prolonged and happening at unreasonable times (for example, in the middle of the night so as to disturb sleep). Day to day activities include:

  • flushing toilets
  • children playing
  • washing machines
  • vacuums
  • lawnmowers
  • doors and cupboards closing.

To make a complaint about any of the types of noise detailed above, contact us.

We are unable to investigate noise from aircraft or road traffic.

Neighbours and noise

Excessive noise from neighbours can be frustrating, and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry.

To maintain good neighbour relations, you may wish to discuss the matter with your neighbour as they may not be aware that there is a problem. Often this resolves the majority of complaints.

Should this not be effective, we may be able to formally investigate your complaint and offer individual advice.

To be a nuisance, noise must be causing substantial and unreasonable interference in your home.

We are unlikely to deal with a one-off situation in a formal way unless the noise is exceptionally loud and is affecting many households.

If you wish to make a complaint, we require:

  • your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • the address of the alleged source of the noise
  • detailed information of the noise.

As part of the investigation, we require the completion of a diary sheet, which will be sent out to you.

If we are unable to resolve the matter informally, you may also be required to give evidence in the Magistrates Court.

Car alarms

We have the power to break into a car in the street and disable the alarm if it is sounding excessively. We will need to obtain a warrant if the car is on private property.

If you wish to make a complaint, we require:

  • your name, address, email address and telephone number
  • details of the car, including registration number, colour and make
  • the location of the vehicle
  • how long the alarm has been sounding
  • how the noise is affecting you
  • details of the owner or driver (if known).

The above procedure may take several hours to resolve, depending on individual circumstances.

You can contact us about car alarms during our office hours. Outside office hours, contact the Hampshire Police non-emergency number.

Call Hampshire Police on 101

House intruder alarms

We have the power to take steps to silence a misfiring house intruder alarm, if the alarm:

  • has been sounding for more than 20 minutes continually or one hour intermittently
  • is causing a likely annoyance to those in the vicinity.

We can silence the alarm from outside the property or, if we can obtain a warrant, enter the property and silence the alarm. The cost of such actions will be reclaimed from the alarm's owner.

If you wish to make a complaint, we will require:

  • your name, address, email address and telephone number
  • the address of house where the alarm is misfiring
  • how long the alarm has been sounding
  • the name and location of the occupier (if known)
  • keyholder details (if known)
  • identification markings, for example the telephone number on the alarm box.

The procedure may take several hours to resolve, depending on individual circumstances.

Noise from business premises

You may wish to complain about noise from a business or commercial premises.

A business's hours of operation may be restricted by conditions on their Planning Permission. If they have unrestricted hours of use, we will investigate your complaint, and may be able to restrict the hours or reduce their noise.

To maintain good neighbour relations, you may wish to discuss the matter with the business concerned, as they may not know there is a problem.

If you are unable to do so, or this is unsuccessful, we can formally investigate your complaint and offer individual advice.

If you wish to make a complaint, we will require:

  • your name, address, email address and telephone number
  • the address of the alleged source of the noise
  • detailed information of the complaint.

As part of the investigation, we will require the completion of a diary sheet, which will be sent out to you.

If we are unable able to resolve the matter informally, you may also be required to give evidence in the Magistrates Court.

The law relating to noise from business premises is slightly different from domestic premises as, in some circumstances, the business can defend itself in court by showing that they are using the 'Best Practicable Means' to prevent the nuisance.

Barking dogs

You can make a complaint about a barking dog or other animal noise by following the same guidelines for noise from neighbours.

If you are concerned about your own dog barking, contact our Dog Wardens by phone on 023 8028 5411. For advice on how to stop your dog barking, visit the Blue Cross website.

Fireworks

The Fireworks Regulations 2004 created a curfew on the use of fireworks. It is an offence to let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, with these exceptions:

  • 5 November (between midnight and 7am)
  • New Year's Eve (between 1am and 7am)
  • Chinese New Year (between 1am and 7am)
  • Diwali Night (between 1am and 7am).

If fireworks cause a problem outside the above hours, contact the Hampshire Police on the non-emergency number.

Call Hampshire Police on 101

It is a criminal offence to throw or discharge a firework in a street or public place. Further information on police enforcement can be found on the Ask the Police website.

Pets are frightened of fireworks and should always be kept indoors during local firework displays. Further information on fireworks and pets can be found on the Blue Cross website.

Retailers selling fireworks must be registered with Hampshire Trading Standards, which investigates problems with unsafe products.

Contact details

You can contact us to make a complaint about any of the types of noise detailed above, or to ask questions about noise.

Email: eandr@nfdc.gov.uk

Phone: 02380 285411

Environmental Health (Protection)
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
Lyndhurst
SO43 7PA

Our office hours are:

Monday to Thursday: 8.45am to 5.15pm

Fridays: 8.45am to 4.45pm

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