Noise, smoke and other nuisances

We investigate complaints of noise, smoke, dust, smell, fumes, light and insect nuisance.

Report it online

The complaint could be:

  • Late night noise from a neighbour's stereo
  • Smoke from persistent garden bonfires
  • Continuous smells from bad farming practices
  • Fumes from a processing plant
  • Excessive dust from a construction site
  • Intrusive light from a neighbour's security light
  • Flies from neighbouring food premises

What happens next?

We aim to provide a first response to your complaint within 3 working days. However, if the nuisance is occurring at the time that you call, we may be able to visit and witness the nuisance immediately. In the case of audible intruder alarms, we aim to respond within 3 hours.

Most complaints that we receive are about matters that are intermittent and in these cases we will normally ask you to keep a record of all incidents of the nuisance on a diary sheet for 21 days and send it back to us so that we can properly understand the nature of the problem. These diary sheets are sent out in the post following your complaint.

Alternatively, before making your complaint, you can download the appropriate diary sheet below and return it to us when completed by post or as an electronic attachment when submitting your complaint using our ‘Report it online’ option above. Guidance on how to fill out these diary sheets can be found below.

For noise-related problems, if you have a smartphone you can use The Noise App to record samples of the noise and send us these.

If our investigation confirms that there is a serious problem, this is called a statutory nuisance and we will normally serve a formal warning notice (abatement notice) requiring the person responsible to stop causing the problem. If the abatement notice is not complied with in the timescale that we have set, we can prosecute the person causing the problem or, depending on the circumstances of the case, take default action to remedy the problem, for example by seizing noise making equipment.

More information about statutory nuisances, how we investigate them and taking your own action is available in the leaflets below.

Weekend Noise Call-Out Service

The Council operates a Noise Call-Out Service from 1 April to 30 September between 8pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. On the Sunday night of a bank holiday weekend, during the same hours, the service is also provided. The service is intended to provide a response to problems such as noise from house parties, licensed premises and car/house alarms. Please contact the service on 0300 777 4129 (calls charged at local rates).

Our aim is to ring callers within one hour and, if the noise complained about is continuing to be a problem, to visit as soon as possible. At busy times, there may be a delay if the duty officer has a number of cases to deal with but we will deal with the issue as soon as we are able to. For us to be able to deal with a complaint, we will need to visit you to witness the disturbance that you are experiencing from within your house before we take any action.

Construction Noise

Noise from construction or building works is often unavoidable. However ‘noisy activities’ from such sites should only be undertaken between the following hours unless there are exceptional reasons for working at other times and appropriate control measures are taken:

  • Monday – Friday  8am and 6pm
  • Saturday 8am and 1pm
  • Sunday and bank holidays - No work

Bonfires, open fires and wood-burning stoves

There is no specific law that makes it illegal to have a bonfire or prohibits the times they can be lit. However, the Council will take action if a smoke nuisance from a bonfire is caused. See our leaflet below for more information.

In terms of open fires and wood-burning stoves Defra has published a practical guide that aims to reduce the negative environmental and health impacts of their use.