Construction Work Noise and Nuisance

If you have a problem with noise, smoke or dust caused by construction work, you can report it to us to investigate.

We also publish general information about noise and bonfires and burning materials.

Noise

Building works will generate a certain amount of noise, but this should be kept to a minimum.

This can be achieved by restricting the hours of  work and ensuring that the most appropriate equipment, and quieter methods of construction, are being used.

On occasions, a development may have planning conditions attached that control the hours of construction activity. Regardless of any planning conditions, a construction activity should conform to good practice guidelines and have regard to Section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

With the exception of emergency works, the generally accepted working hours for noisy construction work are:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 8am to 1pm
  • Sunday: none
  • Bank holidays: none.

In addition, the Best Practicable Means (BPM) of controlling noise should be employed at all times.

If building work regularly persists outside of the times stated above, further action may be possible if Statutory Nuisance exists or is likely to occur.

It is unlikely that action will be taken for occasional breaches of the guideline hours, or for prolonged or persistent works outside of those hours but which are unlikely to cause a noise nuisance.

If you are unreasonably disturbed by noise from a construction activity, contact us.

Smoke

Construction sites should not be burning materials unless a person or building company has a D7 Exemption, which is regulated by the Environment Agency. This allows the burning in the open of green waste, sawdust, shavings or cuttings from untreated wood, so long as they originate on the site where they are being burnt

You can search whether a company holds one by viewing the Environment Agency Public Register using the link below.

Any other waste derived from a commercial activity cannot be burnt on site. It must be disposed of through a licensed contractor or waste handler.

Burning waste on a commercial site without a D7 Exemption, or not in compliance with the exemption, is an offence with an unlimited fine upon conviction.

There is a further offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 where bonfires (subject to certain exemptions) cause dark or black smoke on an industrial or commercial premises, with an unlimited fine upon conviction.

If you suspect waste other than that detailed above is being burnt, contact us.

Dust

Builders should avoid causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties or public areas from dust.

Construction sites should take adequate dust control measures, including:

  • reducing dust at source
  • damping down
  • screening.

If you are unreasonably disturbed by dust from a construction activity, contact us.

Contact details

You can contact us to make a complaint about anything detailed above, or to ask questions about construction work noise or nuisance.

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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