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Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

Excessive noise can make life a misery. Noisy neighbours, noise from industry or construction sites and barking dogs are just some of the problems that can be experienced. Everyone has a different tolerance to noise.

What we have to remember is that no house or flat is totally sound proof, everybody must expect some noise from their neighbours and we are all affected by noise from our neighbours from time to time.

How can I deal with noise problems?

Talk about it  Although it may sound obvious, simply talking to your neighbours may resolve the problem. Most people are unaware that they are causing a nuisance and if you don't tell them, who will?

Talk to us  If you feel you can't approach your neighbours or if there is still a problem talk to us using our

Noise Advice and Complaints Form

Taking your own action  If you have been disturbed by noise and have been unable to resolve the problem, either informally or through the noise team, then you may want to take further action. If you want to take your own action through the courts you can. If the noise is persistent it might be a good idea to keep a log of the disturbances.

Sources of noise

There are a number of different sources of noise nuisance including:

  • Neighbourhood noise (e.g loud music)
  • Commercial noise
  • Traffic noise
  • Barking dogs
  • Fire Works

Statutory noise nuisance

There is not a strict definition of a “statutory nuisance”, but it is generally regarded as a substantial interference with a person’s legitimate use and enjoyment of their land. Everyone has a duty to avoid causing statutory noise nuisance, which will adversely affect a person’s wellbeing and enjoyment of their property.

There is no set level at which noise becomes a nuisance. In deciding whether a noise amounts to a nuisance an investigating officer would consider factors including:

  • the locality in which the noise is occurring

  • the time of day or night the noise is occurring

  • the loudness and duration of the noise

  • how often the noise occurs

There are certain noise sources that cannot be considered to be a statutory nuisance such as road traffic noise from moving vehicles.

What happens if the Council is satisfied that a noise is a Statutory Nuisance?

In the majority of cases noise complaints are resolved informally before formal action is instigated. However, if the Council is satisfied that a noise amounts to a statutory nuisance then an “abatement notice” will be served.

The notice will require the person responsible to take the necessary action to prevent the noise from continuing to cause a nuisance. A person on whom such a notice is served has a right of appeal to a magistrates court within 21 days of it being served. A breach of an abatement notice is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and may result in legal action being taken against those responsible by the council.

Complaining about noise

Often the best way to deal with unwanted noise is to talk to the person or company responsible and point out the problem.

If your approach is unsuccessful, or you do not feel it is appropriate, then you can complain about a noise to the Council.