We investigate all noise from:

  • alarms
  • noisy animals (including dogs)
  • pubs and clubs
  • roadworks

We investigate certain noise from:

  • neighbours
  • building sites
  • commercial premises
  • fireworks

We do not investigate noise from:

  • road traffic
  • aircraft
  • trains

You can find out about transport noise on GOV.UK.

Neighbours

Noise we investigate from neighbours includes:

  • loud music or TV
  • playing of loud musical instruments
  • parties and BBQs
  • DIY at unreasonable hours
  • cockerels
  • intruder alarms
  • dogs barking

We do not investigate:

  • footsteps
  • doors slamming
  • people arguing
  • people gathering in the street
  • babies crying
  • children playing
  • moving furniture
  • normal use of domestic appliances

Building sites

We investigate noise from building sites if the construction noise falls outside of the hours of operation

The hours of operation are:

  • Monday to Friday, 7am to 8am
    Permitted activity: Light work, and no excessively noisy work (such as drilling or demolition)
      
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
    Permitted activity: All types
      
  • Monday to Friday, 6pm to 7pm
    Permitted activity: Light work, and no excessively noisy work (such as drilling or demolition)
      
  • Saturdays, 8am to 1pm
    Permitted activity: All types
      
  • Sundays and bank holidays, all day
    Permitted activity: No work that can be heard beyond the boundary of the site

Commercial premises

Noise we will investigate from commercial premises includes:

  • deliveries
  • waste collections
  • noisy equipment
  • air conditioning plant
  • refrigeration plant
  • agricultural activities

Fireworks

It is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for:

  • Bonfire Night (5 November), when the cut off is midnight
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am

If someone is letting off fireworks outside of the permitted times, you should report it to Essex Police on 101.

We will only investigate noise complaints about fireworks if someone is letting them off persistently.

You can find more information about fireworks and the law on GOV.UK.

Report now

You can report a noise problem to us if the noise is having a significant impact on you and your family.

Before you report a noise problem to us, you should try to speak to the person responsible for the noise. This also applies if the issue is with busker.

You can find out about resolving neighbour disputes on GOV.UK.

If you can’t solve the problem by speaking to the person responsible for the noise, you can report it to us.

To report a noise problem, you will need:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • what the noise is
  • where you think the noise is coming from
  • how long the noise lasts for
  • how often the noise happens
  • the time the noise usually happens
  • how the noise is affecting you and your family

We only look at online noise reports during our opening hours. If you experience a noise problem outside of 8:45am and 16:45pm Monday to Friday, you need to use our out of hours noise service.

Once we receive your complaint, we will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within three working days
  • investigate your complaint and decide if the noise is causing a statutory nuisance
  • inform you of our decision. As all complaints have their own complexities, we will keep you up to date with our investigations as they progress. 

We will keep your details confidential, but in some cases, it may be obvious who has made the complaint.

We will send a letter to you and to the person responsible for the noise.

The letter to the person responsible for the noise will inform them of the alleged nuisance, and ask them to stop.

The letter to you will include noise log sheets and details on how to sign up to the Noise App.

If the noise continues after we have written to the person responsible, you will need to keep the log for 14 days.

The log includes:

  • what the noise is
  • the date of the noise
  • the time the noise started
  • the time the noise ended

We will use the information on your log to:

  • help us to determine that the noise is a statutory nuisance
  • help us identify the best time to visit to witness the noise

If the noise is a statutory nuisance, we will serve an abatement notice. The notice means that the person responsible for the noise has to stop.

If the person responsible for the noise does not stop, we will begin legal proceedings. We will notify you if we take legal proceedings, as we may have to reveal your identity.

You can find more information about noise nuisance on GOV.UK.

You can report a noise problem that needs immediate action outside of our opening hours to our out of hours noise service. 

We will only deal with noise reports that need immediate action, which includes: 

  • music from late night parties
  • intruder alarms
  • car alarms

We will also deal with your report if you have an ongoing noise complaint, and we have referred it to the out of hours service.

To report a noise problem, you will need:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • what the noise is
  • where you think the noise is coming from
  • how long the noise lasts for
  • how often the noise happens
  • the time the noise usually happens
  • how the noise is affecting you and your family

You can report a noise to our out of house noise service by calling 01245 606606.

The service runs:

  • 6pm Friday to 3am Saturday
  • 6pm Saturday to 3am Sunday
  • 3pm Sunday to 12am Sunday
  • 12pm to 12am bank holidays

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Last updated: 30 September 2022