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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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Neighbourhood noise

Excessive noise from neighbours can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. In many cases, the person making the noise is unaware that they are causing a problem and therefore the problem can be sorted out quite quickly. Neighbourhood Noise can include loud music, barking dogs, DIY, and burglar alarms.

Where this approach fails we can serve a notice on the offending party requiring them to abate the nuisance. If such a notice is not complied with then legal action can follow.

Commercial noise

Noise from commercial premises is often dealt with in the same way as that from domestic premises.

However, in some cases we may not need to prove a statutory nuisance where the premises hold a Public Entertainment Licence. These licences are issued in order to ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum. Action can be taken against premises that operate outside of its licensing agreement.

Construction sites are a very common source of noise pollution. They are often in areas which were quiet beforehand and, therefore, the noise generated by their activities is very noticeable. Construction noise is an anticipated part of a development and therefore a restriction on working hours is often prescribed as part of the planning permission.

Commercial noise can include:

  • Industrial premises (e.g. compressors, fans and movement of vehicles)

  • Construction sites (e.g. drilling, sawing, demolition, early morning delivery of materials)

  • Pubs and clubs (e.g. loud music, emptying of bottles at unsociable hours, refrigeration fans)

Traffic noise

Traffic noise is excluded from Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which means that we have no direct responsibility in relation to noise from traffic.

Street and off-street noise

This can include car alarms, loudspeakers, mobile generators, scrambling bikes, banger racing, model cars.

Barking dogs

Excessive noise from barking dogs can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. In many cases, the person who owns the dog(s) is unaware that they are causing a problem and therefore the problem can be sorted out quite quickly.

Where this approach fails we can serve a notice on the offending party requiring them to abate the nuisance. If such a notice is not complied with then legal action can follow.

Noise at work

Over 1 million employees in Great Britain are exposed to levels of noise which put their hearing at risk. Hearing loss caused by work is preventable but once your hearing has gone it won't come back. The Health and Safety Executive provide guidance on Noise at work

Fireworks

Environmental Protection Services can only deal with noise complaints from fireworks if the fireworks are being set off from a property on a regular basis. If the fireworks are being set off in the street then this is a Police matter.

For further information on fireworks please see the following:

Noise from Ice Cream Vans

Traditionally there is a long history of sale of perishable food from vehicles within this country. Any vehicle selling perishable food is entitled to advertise the fact using a loudspeaker in order to attract custom. The most common example is the ice cream van. The legislation controlling ice cream van chimes (and others selling perishable food) is the same as that for noise in streets. Under normal circumstances such vehicles are exempt from that legislation providing they are in compliance with a specific code of practice, "Code of Practice on Noise from Ice Cream Van Chimes Etc." This specifically lists how loud and for how long a loud speaker may be used. It also restricts the use to certain times of day.

The Law

Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, it is an offence to operate or permit the operation of any loudspeaker of the 'ice-cream van chimes' type in a street unless the following conditions are complied with:

  1. The loudspeaker is operated only between the hours of 12 noon and 7 pm;

  2. The loudspeaker is fixed to a vehicle which is being used for the conveyance of a perishable food for human consumption;

  3. The loudspeaker is operated solely for informing members of the public (otherwise than by means of words) that the commodity is on sale from the vehicle;

  4. The loudspeaker is so operated as not to give reasonable cause for annoyance to persons in the vicinity.

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice below gives guidance on methods of minimising annoyance or disturbance caused by the operation of loudspeakers fixed to ice-cream vans and similar vehicles used to convey and sell perishable commodities for human consumption to the public. The code should however be taken as applying equally to any other sounds made by a loudspeaker fixed to a vehicle from which food is sold to the public in a street.

Do not sound chimes…

  1. for longer than 4 seconds at a time (use a cut out device);

  2. more often than once every 3 minutes;

  3. when the vehicle is stationary;

  4. except on approach to a selling point;

  5. when in sight of another vehicle which is trading;

  6. when within 50 metres of schools (during school hours), hospitals, and places of worship (on Sundays and other recognised day of worship);

  7. more often than once every 2 hours in the same length of street;

  8. louder than 80 dB(A) at 7.5 metres;

  9. as loudly in quiet areas or narrow streets as elsewhere.

It is an Offence Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to sound chimes;

  1. Before 12 noon and after 1900 hours

  2. At any time in a way which gives reasonable cause of annoyance