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Statutory Noise Nuisance

When does a noise become a Statutory 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.

Contact Details

  • Name Environmental Safety and Health
  • Address People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345