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Nuisance caused by noise, smoke and rubbish

Noise is a fact of everyday life; however, we are all entitled to expect that the activities of others do not interfere unreasonably with our private lives. This includes freedom from the intrusion of other people's noise.

Noise complaints that we deal with can arise from various sources:

  • Household noise (e.g. loud music or barking dogs but NOT domestic arguments or verbal abuse which should be reported to the Police)
  • Commercial or industrial premises (pubs, clubs, factories)
  • Noisy equipment (alarms, ventilation fans, refrigeration units)
  • Outdoor events
  • Vehicles (car alarms, ice cream chimes)
  • Construction work (from DIY to major projects)
Odours and smells Smoke, dust and fumes Rubbish on private land

You can download a leaflet that explains how we deal with noise nuisance. In many cases, the person/s causing the noise may not be aware that they are causing a problem, and all that is required is a polite request for some action to be taken to resolve the issue in a friendly way. Don't take any risks - such an approach can sometimes produce a hostile response. Please contact us if you don't feel able to deal with the problem yourself, or if you have tried and it hasn't worked.

If you have a complaint which concerns a nuisance noise, or odour which happens regularly enough to cause significant disturbance to you, you will be asked to complete a complaint record form. Please complete and return this by post or email (the details for which are listed on the form). Please ensure that you provide detailed records concerning the problem, and how it affects you.

Records which state that a nuisance occurs ‘all day, every day’ will be taken in court to mean exactly that, and therefore you should ensure that you record accurate dates and times as this forms a vital piece of evidence. 

Please note that we are unable to investigate anonymous complaints and you must ensure you include the address of where the noise is originating from.

We will try to find a solution, without legal action if possible, and can act quickly in severe cases. If we are unable to help you, we will advise you who can.

Who else is concerned with controlling noise?

Out of Hours Service

During the summer season we provide an Out of Hours Service which enables you to report a problem to the Officers on duty so they can attend if possible and witness it. This service is available at weekends only from the beginning of May to the end of September on Friday and Saturday nights.

Restrictions on mass balloon and sky lantern releases

Sky lanterns and the mass release of balloons are banned from council-owned land.

The reason for the ban is the risk they pose to wildlife and livestock (ingestion, entanglement, entrapment, panic). Unexpired sky lanterns also pose a fire hazard and, when released out to sea, a significant risk to the effective operation of coastal rescues services. Both also create litter and waste.

We have adopted a code of conduct for staff and councillors to follow on this issue and the ban will be included within the terms for leasing council land in the future:

We encourage landowners, Parish and Town Councils and event organisers to consider doing the same.

Some fun alternatives to mark a special occasion or raise money:

  • Planting a native tree, flower or butterfly garden
  • Flags, banners, streamers, ribbons & dancing inflatables
  • Kites & garden spinners
  • Bunting
  • Tissue Paper Pompoms
  • Floating flowers
  • Lighting candles and lanterns
  • Blowing bubbles
  • LED lights
  • Seeds inside balloons for children to pop over the land and then put remains in the bin.
  • Indoor balloon games and displays

Construction Noise

It is accepted that undertaking construction work can create noise and even though it is temporary, it can still be a nuisance to people living or working nearby.

During demolition or construction we understand that some noise will be inevitable, but it should be kept to a reasonable minimum. Where problems are identified, we can investigate and advise on, or enforce, solutions. 

We recommend that the following hours are adhered to for any noisy construction or demolition works:

Day of the WeekTime of work

Monday to Friday  

07:30 - 18:00


08:00 - 13:00

Sunday and Bank Holidays  

No noisy working normally permitted

These times may be varied for emergency situations or in certain circumstances where works may only be undertaken outside of normal operational hours, such as: coastal works to coincide with tidal patterns; highway resurfacing; bridge repairs; and railway engineering. In these situations we would expect to be notified of the type and duration of work.

If you are affected by demolition or construction site noise, or you are a construction company wishing to apply for prior consent, please contact us