Rossendale Borough Council

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Noise nuisance

About noise nuisance

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When is noise nuisance a statutory nuisance?

Noise nuisance is covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This law empowers local authorities to deal with noise from domestic, commercial and trade premises and machinery and equipment in the street

Detailed information can be found in the Noise Nuisance Strategy and Policy.

Before action can be taken we have to be sure that the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance. This means that we have to prove that the noise is prejudicial to health and/or is causing an unreasonable and persistent disturbance to your lifestyle.

Here are a number of different sources of noise pollution including:

  • Neighbourhood noise (e.g loud music, burglar alarms, car alarms, barking dogs)
  • Commercial/industrial noise (e.g noisy machinery, music from pubs and clubs, deliveries)


Excessive noise from neighbours can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. In many cases, the person making the noise is unaware that they are causing a problem and therefore the problem can be sorted out quite quickly if the matter is brought to the attention of the perpetrator.

Where this informal approach fails and the problem continues we can serve a notice on the offending party requiring them to abate the nuisance. If such a notice is not complied with then seizure of noise making equipment, work in default and or legal action can follow. (See What can I do and How can environmental health help).

Commercial noise is usually dealt with in the same way as that from domestic premises. However, in some cases we do not need to prove a statutory nuisance where the premises provide a licensable activity (formerly public entertainment licence) as the matter will be dealt with by the Council's Licensing Section.

These licences are issued in order to ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum. Action can be taken against a premises that operates outside of its licensing agreement either by the Licensing Enforcement Officer or the public or Police asking for a review of the licence.

Construction sites are a very common source of noise pollution. They are often in areas which were quiet beforehand and therefore the noise generated from their activities are very noticeable. However construction noise is an anticipated part of a development and therefore a restriction on working hours is often prescribed as part of the planning permission.

  1. You are here: About noise nuisance
  2. What is noise nuisance?
  3. Noise - what can i do?
  4. How environmental health help you?

Telephone: 01706 252565

Environmental Health Team, The Business Centre, Bacup, Rossendale, Lancs, OL13 0BB