Noise from construction sites can be extremely disruptive. Fortunately all activities such as these only last for a certain amount of time and so it is often a case of getting the work done as quickly as possible with the least amount of disruption.

In trying to achieve this we often write to developers who have submitted planning applications before they even have planning consent. We point out what we consider to be appropriate methods of reducing noise from construction activities such as working hours and noise standards to be met.

How we can help

We also encourage developers to liaise with the local community to try to ensure that everyone knows what is going on. It's amazing how much more tolerable a noise is when you know why it's being caused and how much longer it will go on for.

  • If construction sites do create a noise nuisance problem we are often in a position where we can take statutory nuisance action under the Environmental Protection Act.
  • We do have powers under the Control of Pollution Act which can allow us to put specific limits on construction and demolition activities such as working hours or the type of plant to use.

Please remember that serving legal notices and going to court takes time, by the end of which the construction in question is usually complete and the problem has solved itself. For this reason we prefer to reach an informal solution.

Prior consents

Developers can apply to the local authority for prior permission to undertake noisy work under section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act.

Where the consent application is granted it exempts the applicant from any enforcement action under section 60 (Control of Noise on Construction Sites) of the same Act. Applications should be sent to

General information for noise control on construction sites

Operational hours for noisy working should be limited. We usually suggest working between the times of:

  • Weekday: 7:30am to 6pm 
  • Saturday: 8am to 1pm
  • No work on Sundays and bank holidays

We also ask that you follow the following guidelines:

  • All equipment should meet EU noise emission standards
  • Reducing noise from very noisy activities should be considered in detail. E.g hydrualic or auger piling should be used rather than percussive piling
  • All equipment should be silenced and acoustic screens erected where possible
  • Neighbours should be advised well in advance of any particularly noisy activities. For bigger projects more formal liaison arrangements should be made to ensure effective communication with the local community
  • Site practices should meet BS 5228 which provides guidance on noise control on construction sites

Last updated: Tue 17th July, 2018 @ 14:34