Report a noise nuisance issue, legal powers, anonymous reports, avoid causing a noise nuisance, intruder alarms and noise assessments.
The most common domestic noise problems are caused by loud music or television, barking dogs, shouting, banging doors and DIY activities. If noise is causing regular and unreasonable disturbance to you, it may amount to a statutory nuisance or anti-social behaviour.
Firstly, you should try resolving your complaint by talking to your neighbour to make them aware of the problem. An informal approach is usually preferable, as involving the council can sometimes damage relations with your neighbours. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to them directly at first, we have provided an example template letter which you can amend for your situation.
Neighbour noise letter (25kb)
Read more information and advice on noise nuisance:
Noise Leaflet (666kb)
Read more about barking dogs, and how to report them to the council.
The following pdf documents are available to give guidance and advice on how to minimise noise disturbance to neighbours.
Controlling noise from cockerels (52kb)
Barking dogs leaflet (63kb)
Good practice guide for contractors (72kb)
Guidance to farmers on the use of bird scarers (516kb)
Alarms should be fitted with an automatic cut-off device, so that they stop ringing after 20 minutes. However, they can often misfire and are a common cause of noise complaints.
It is a good idea to make sure that a neighbour or someone close by has access to your property and can deactivate the alarm (ie. a keyholder) in the event your alarm misfires while you are away. This will avoid the need for the council to take formal action to silence an alarm if it is causing a statutory noise nuisance. In such cases the council can recharge the cost incurred to the homeowner.
You can register keyholder details online (opens in new window), so that we can contact them if you are not available, should we receive a complaint about your alarm misfiring. You do not need to tell us the deactivation code, or provide a key, just the details of someone who has them.
If we investigate a noise complaint and are satisfied it is anti-social or a statutory nuisance, the council can issue a formal notice on the person or business responsible, to get them to stop the nuisance or behaviour within a given amount of time.
It is an offence not to comply with a notice, and anyone found guilty can be served with a fixed penalty or prosecuted and fined.
Any costs incurred by the council where a notice has not been complied with, will be recharged to the person who was issued with the notice. This includes silencing a misfiring intruder alarm where a key-holder cannot be found.
Additionally, the council has powers to obtain a warrant and seize noise making equipment eg. music systems and TVs.
You can also view a copy of the council's enforcement policy.
To be considered a statutory nuisance, the noise has to be serious enough to be interfering substantially with your well-being, or comfort and enjoyment of your property. This may include certain types of noise.
Read more about statutory nuisance laws on the government's Legislation website.
To be considered anti-social behaviour, the noise has to be having a detrimental effect, of a persistant or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the neighbourhood. You can read more about how the council deals with anti-social behaviour.
Read more about anti-social behaviour laws on the government's Legislation website.
The same procedures normally apply for investigating a noise nuisance from commercial, industrial and agricultural premises, as they do for domestic noise complaints. Depending on the type of premises we may contact the council’s licensing section or planning enforcement section as part of our investigation. Some large industrial and waste facilities may also have an environmental permit which can include conditions to control noise pollution, and these are enforced by either the Environment Agency or the council.
There is currently no licensing or registration scheme for street performers in the East Riding. However, if you intend to play live amplified music you may require a temporary events notice from the Licensing Team.
Read more advice for buskers and street performers on avoiding noise problems:
Guide for street performers (buskers) (1mb)
The following are examples of sources of noise that the council will not usually be able to investigate.
See contact details to report noise from aircraft:
Contact details for aircraft noise (21kb)
We cannot usually investigate anonymous complaints.
To prove noise is a statutory nuisance or anti-social behaviour, the council will need to investigate the problem at the complainant’s property. When carrying out visits, we will be as discreet as is reasonably practicable, and we will keep your details confidential, in accordance with our data protection policy. However, the complainant will be expected to keep a diary of noise problems suffered and to provide a statement of witness or attend court should formal action be necessary.
In some cases the council may not be able to get sufficient evidence to be able to take any action on your behalf. In such cases, you can take private action by complaining directly to the magistrates’ court. This is a simple process and need not cost much. You do not need to employ a solicitor but it is advisable to seek some legal advice prior to taking such action.
Learn more about dealing with noise issues:
Noise Leaflet (666kb)
Read the current building regulations for sound insulation on the Planning Portal website.
If you are proposing a potentially noisy development such as an industrial site or certain leisure activities near to noise sensitive buildings, such as homes or schools, then you may need to carry out a noise assessment as part of your application. Similarly, if you are proposing a noise sensitive development near to an existing source of noise, this will also need to be assessed.
The National Planning Policy Framework requires planning policies and decisions to:
Read the National Planning Policy Framework on the GOV.UK website.
There is also a National Planning Practice Guidance on the GOV.UK website.
You are advised to seek specialist advice from a noise consultant when preparing a planning application which could fall into the above scenarios. More information on noise consultants and noise assessments can be found on the Institute of Acoustics website and the Association of Noise Consultants website.