Noise nuisance

Officers from Pollution Control can investigate complaints and offer advice on noise from premises such as barking dogs, live or recorded music, televisions, excessive DIY and intruder alarms. We cannot investigate noise from people in the road, road traffic or vehicle stereos.

You can download more information on how to deal with a noise nuisance.

Nuisance is defined in Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Aircraft noise

To make an online aircraft noise complaint, visit the Liverpool John Lennon Airport website.

Noise Control

Noise disturbance can come from many sources and can include domestic, commercial, industrial, entertainment and construction activities.

Additionally road, rail and aircraft noise can often create problems, however these types of activities are normally more effectively dealt with at the planning/development stage.

The avoidance of noise nuisance is given a high priority in all planning and licensing matters.

Making a complaint

Officers dealing with noise complaints are employed within the Pollution Control Section and can be contacted by telephone, in writing or email. They can be contacted by telephone from 9.00 am to 10.00 am and from 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm. Messages can also be left with Technical Support Officers between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm by telephoning 604 3545.

In all cases complaints are dealt with by trained staff who will record all the relevant details, including name, address and telephone number of the complainant, the location of the noise source (this must be provided) and the nature of the noise.

All complainant details are kept strictly confidential but are necessary to enable the investigating officer to determine the existence of a Statutory Nuisance. For this reason it is NOT possible to deal with anonymous complaints.

Noise outside normal working hours

There are situations where noise occurs outside normal working hours. Whilst the Council does not operate a 24 hour call out service for the investigation of noise complaints, Officers will make arrangements, as they deem necessary, to investigate noise problems outside of their normal working hours by prior arrangement.

Investigation Procedure

1. Domestic Noise Complaints

Complaints are encouraged to discuss the details of the problem with the person they allege to be causing the noise. Where a complainant feels unable to adopt this course of action no pressure to do so is placed on them.

Following the receipt of the complaint the complainant is contacted, by letter or telephone and in most cases will be asked to keep a log of noise events. The complainant is also advised of the name and telephone number of the Officer dealing with the complaint. Where a noise log sheet is provided it must be completed and returned to the investigating Officer before any further action is taken.

Following the return of the completed noise log or where the investigating Officer makes contact, the complaint will be formally investigated. If substantiated every effort is made to first resolve it informally, but if this is not possible then formal action is initiated. Both parties will be made aware of any actions taken by the investigating Officer.

In situations where a complaint cannot be substantiated advice is given on ways to take private action using section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or through civil proceedings in the county court.

Cases, which involve threatening behaviour and/or verbal/physical abuse, may be referred to the police or Council Anti Social Behaviour Team (Tel: 606 2020).

2. Industrial, Commercial, Construction or Entertainment Noise Complaint

On receipt of a complaint the initial response will normally be to contact the complainant by telephone, in person or by letter. As with domestic complaints the complainant is advised of the investigating Officers name and telephone number. Where a noise log sheet is provided it must be completed and returned to the investigating Officer before any further action is taken.

After considering the information available, the person or company alleged to be causing the noise will be contacted to advise them of the nature of the complaint. In the majority of cases experience has shown that this informal action tends to resolve most problems.

Should informal action prove unsuccessful in providing a remedy noise monitoring will be undertaken, if this monitoring substantiates the complaint then formal action will be initiated. Both parties will be made aware of this action.

It should be noted that, for industry, if they fail to comply with an abatement notice, there is a defence that they are utilising the ‘best practical means.’

Summary

The Council’s Officers will deal with noise complaints by: -

  • Providing an initial response to the complainant within three working days
  • Where a complaint is substantiated informal action will be taken initially, but if this proves ineffective then formal action will be initiated
  • Formal action will only be undertaken on the direct evidence of Council Officers
  • Complainants will be kept informed of all decisions
  • Every effort will be made to resolve a complaint or initiate legal proceedings within three months of the date of the initial complaint
  • Complainants will be advised of any delay in achieving the objectives stated above, together with the reasons for the delay
  • If necessary out of hours investigations will be made by arrangement