If you want to make a noise complaint, we would advise you to approach your neighbour first, so that complaints, especially domestic ones, can be settled between you without the council becoming involved. 

This could be the quickest way to resolve the noise issue and help keep a good relationship with your neighbour in the future.

Advice on this can be found at the link below:  

Solve a problem with your neighbour

If you do report a noise nuisance to us, complaints are normally investigated by the Environmental Protection team. However, depending on the nature and circumstances of the complaint, it may be referred to another service, such as our Planning team or Licensing team.

Please note that anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated.

Report a noise complaint

Frequently asked questions about noise nuisance

If a neighbour makes a nuisance complaint about you

Investigating a complaint

We try to resolve noise problems informally where possible and initially we may contact the person causing the noise to make them aware that complaints have been made to us.

If the noise persists after an individual has been advised and/or warned, we will attempt to gather evidence to prove that the noise complained about is what is termed a 'statutory noise nuisance'.

We can't take into account your sensitivity to noise - such as suffering tinnitus or working nights, but we may be able to give informal advice to try to find a solution.

Our investigating officers will determine how unreasonable the noise is to the average person and will make a decision based on their professional judgement and established case law.

The main factors that officers will take into account are:

  • the type and character of the noise (such as banging, pulsing, droning) and how loud it is
  • the time of day or night that the noise occurs
  • how often the noise happens and how long it goes on for
  • the nature and character of the area (for example residential, town centre, industrial)

During normal office hours, we may for example attempt to visit and personally witness the noise. In out-of-office hours we may install sensitive noise-monitoring equipment e.g. tamper-proof digital recorders that make recordings which are identical to what the human ear would hear or arrange for our own Officers to visit in order to witness and assess the extent of the problem.

In some cases we can also use evidence given to us by independent third parties who may have witnessed the noise nuisance whilst at your property, for example from Police Officers, other Council officers or health service workers.

In some circumstances the investigating officer may decide that a written record of alleged incidences of nuisance is not needed, but normally you will be asked to keep a diary of events.

A copy of the incident diary sheet can be downloaded below:

A diary is necessary:

  • to illustrate a pattern of events, which is essential information if monitoring is to be carried out
  • to be used as documentary evidence to support any legal action to be taken by the council
  • to help put the alleged nuisance into perspective
  • if the council is unable to assist, the diary may be used in a private action

You will be expected to keep the diary of events over a period of 14 days before returning it to the council. The case officer will then look at all the information contained in the diary and decide whether further investigation is necessary.

In extreme cases we do short-circuit this part of the procedure, for example if it appears that the noise is continuous or causing widespread disturbance which will not stop without quick intervention.

Your name and address will not be disclosed during the investigation unless you give us your consent, but please be aware that the alleged perpetrator may be able to assume your identity anyway.

Formal action

If we find that the noise is causing a statutory nuisance, we will serve a Noise Abatement Notice on the person responsible for the noise. This tells them what they must do to stop or reduce the noise, and when they must do it by. The person has 21 days to appeal the notice in the Magistrates' Court.

Our investigating officer will monitor the situation closely to note any change in circumstances and determine whether the terms of the notice have been complied with.

Please note that the alleged perpetrator does not commit a criminal offence until the terms of the notice are breached.

If the person causing the noise doesn't comply with the notice, we could seize equipment that is causing the noise - such as TVs, musical instruments, stereo, games consoles. We could take the case to court which could result in fines being levied against that person. 

The council can also consider noise disturbance as anti-social behaviour under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. A ‘Community Protection Notice’ can be issued to address anti-social issues which negatively affect an individual, household or a community’s quality of life. Breaching a Community Protection Notice could result in a fixed penalty notice and a court prosecution. 

When action is not taken

When the nuisance is not witnessed, or if the officer considers it is not an actionable nuisance, then you will be informed of this and that the council will not take any further action.

In this situation you may wish to consider private action. This must be pursued independently.

What if I am still not happy?

If you do not think that we have adequately investigated your complaint you can either complain via our corporate complaints procedure or, following this, to the Local Authority Ombudsman.

For such a difficult area of law to enforce we take some satisfaction that about 60% of people who use our service tell us that we have either improved or solved their complaints.

Unfortunately we are unable to offer a 24-hour service to react to complaints. Please contact us on 01509 634567 to make a complaint outside office hours. These calls are recorded by our contact centre and will be referred through to us on the next working day, or email env.health@charnwood.gov.uk.

Upcoming events

The council receives a number of notifications about large weekend events involving live music at various festivals and licenced premises that have the potential to cause annoyance and disturbance to local residents.

View upcoming events that could cause noise disruption

Last updated: Fri 28th October, 2022 @ 16:41