Most noise complaints can be resolved informally by talking to the person causing the problem. It may be that they are unaware they are disturbing you. Where this is not possible, we will investigate complaints that could be a 'statutory nuisance' under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If our investigation finds that a statutory nuisance is happening, we will serve an abatement notice.
What is a statutory nuisance
For the issue to count as a statutory nuisance it must do one of the following:
- unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
- injure health or be likely to injure health
Please read the information below about how we can help, and the types of problems we can and can't help with.
Our complaints process
The majority of complaints will follow this procedure:
- We receive a complaint and ask certain questions to establish the situation. Questions may include:
- What is causing the noise?
- How long has it been occurring?
- How is it affecting the complainant?
- What action has been?
- If we are satisfied that it could be a statutory nuisance, a letter is sent to the address where the noise is coming from advising the occupants a complaint has been made. The letter does not reveal the callers details but provides information on what the alleged nuisance is e.g. 'loud music being played repeatedly until 5am every weekend'. This gives the occupants the chance to prevent the nuisance reoccurring or to contact us to respond to the complaint. The complainant will be provided with a log sheet and is asked to monitor the noise for a set period.
- If we receive a completed log sheet, it will be reviewed by an environmental health officer to decide what action is required. If the information on the log sheets is considered to be a statutory nuisance, and the nuisance is still occurring, additional monitoring will take place.
- Should the nuisance continue, an abatement notice will be served. This may require whoever's responsible to stop the activity or limit it to certain times to avoid causing a nuisance and can include specific actions to reduce the problem.
- Breaching an abatement notice is an offence.
What we can help with
We can investigate complaints about noise from industrial, commercial, neighbour and neighbourhood sources, including:
- alarms, including vehicle alarms
- barking dogs
- construction and demolition sites
- deliveries, or refuse/recycling collections at commercial premises
- noisy neighbours
- noisy equipment in the street
- pubs and clubs
- ventilation, air conditioning equipment or other noisy equipment in commercial and industrial premises
We do not have any legal powers to deal with:
- rowdy behaviour in public places
- traffic and aircraft noise
- railway noise
Report a problem with noise
Restorative Gloucestershire is a group of statutory and voluntary sector partners that have joined together with the aim of offering all people who come into contact with the criminal justice system (CJS), or who come into conflict in the community, an opportunity to participate in a restorative intervention.
Restorative processes bring those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. Restorative processes address conflict, build understanding and strengthen relationships with people. They give harmed people/victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, to get answers to their questions, and a chance for harm caused to be repaired. The process helps harmers/offenders to understand the real impact of what they've done, to take responsibility and make amends. Restorative Justice holds harmers to account for what they have done, personally and directly, and helps those harmed to get on with their lives.
Cheltenham Borough Council deals with numerous complaints each year, especially in relation to noise and neighbour nuisance. In many cases officer intervention is not necessary and problems can be better dealt with in a less formal manner. The following leaflets are designed to give advice in the case of dealing with noisy neighbours and making a nuisance complaint to Environmental Health.