Everyone has a different tolerance to noise. Often the best way to deal with unwanted noise is to talk to the person or company responsible and point out the problem. You may find they are unaware that they are disturbing you. Before you approach the person or company responsible it is important to think about your personal safety. If you feel threatened by those responsible for the noise, or if you are worried that they may become aggressive, then approaching them may not be the best option for you.
If your approach is unsuccessful, or you do not feel it is appropriate, then you can make a complaint to the Council. Advice on complaining to the Council is contained in the following sections.
If you are experiencing noise in or around your home caused by the people who live around you (not from factories, shops, or other businesses), then this may be a form of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).
The Council has different arrangements for dealing with ASB, and at present you will need to contact Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 to report it.
When you call, the Advisor will give you help and advice, and will ensure that your problem is handled as quickly and effectively as possible.
Please make your complaint online using one of the following forms.
Noise Complaint form: to complain to us about a noise problem of an industrial or commercial nature that you are experiencing. You will need to give us some brief details about the problem and give us some details about yourself.
Health and Safety Complaint form: If you would to make a complaint about noise affecting employees.
If your problem is urgent you are strongly advised to call us on 0300 555 2345 to see if your complaint can be dealt with more quickly.
An officer will assess your complaint and decide if the matter is actionable by the Council or whether it needs to be referred to another agency. The officer will advise you accordingly and if your complaint can be dealt with by the Council you will be informed how the complaint will be investigated. If you have not done so already you may be asked to keep a record of the disturbances to enable an accurate assessment of the noise to be made. The officer may visit the area where the noise is occurring and contact the person responsible with a view to resolving the matter.
Whilst informal action is usually successful in resolving noise complaints the council may have to resort to formal action such as the service of an abatement notice. See the Statutory Noise Nuisance section for more information.
It is important to note that if the Council need to take legal action in order to stop a noise nuisance, you may be required to appear in court as a witness.
It is our intention to resolve your complaint to a satisfactory conclusion within as short a time as possible. We aim to keep you fully informed of the action taken, the progress being made and the outcome.
Complaints can be made in person, by telephone, letter, fax or e-mail or via a third party, e.g. through your local Councillor.
You will need to provide your full name, your address and a telephone number so we can contact you. These details will be treated as confidential, we will never make them available to the person causing the noise.
Next, we need to know as much information as possible about the noise. It will therefore assist an investigating officer if you keep a written record containing the following information:
A description of the noise
name and address of the premises the noise is arising from (If applicable)
details of occupier of the premises (if applicable)
date and time the noise occurs, and its duration
how the noise is affecting you
Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated, please provide full contact details as detailed above.
Your complaint will be assessed by an Officer who will decide if the matter is actionable by the Council or whether it needs to be referred to another agency.
It is our intention to resolve your complaint to a satisfactory conclusion within as short a time scale as is reasonably practicable. In all instances we aim to keep you fully informed of the action taken and the progress being made.
Following an investigation into your complaint it may be decided by the Council that the noise does not amount to a nuisance.
If it is decided that a complaint is not actionable by the Council it may still be possible for you to take action by complaining directly to your local magistrates’ court under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or by taking civil action.
Before deciding to take your complaint to a magistrates’ court it is advisable that you first seek legal advice. If you do decide to complain then you will need to write to the person causing the noise and notify them of your intentions at least three days before commencing legal proceedings. The court will need to be persuaded that the noise amounts to statutory nuisance. It is therefore important that you keep a written record of the dates, times and duration of the noise, as well as a description of it and the distress it causes. If you win the case the court may issue an order to those responsible to stop the noise nuisance. The court may also decide to issue a fine.