Types of Noise Not Dealt With

DIY

This type of noise is legally defined as 'short-lived'. However, in cases where the noise occurs at unreasonable times such as late at night or it continues for a prolonged period, we may be able to take formal action.

It is a good idea to inform your neighbours in advance of carrying out any DIY work and avoid early morning or late at night when neighbours may be trying to sleep.

Normal living behaviour/poor sound insulation

Noise from normal living behaviour includes:-

  • Vacuuming
  • talking (non-raised voices)
  • lawn-mowing
  • washing machines, dishwashers and tumble driers
  • non-faulty central heating systems
  • doors slamming
  • cooking and cleaning
  • opening and closing cupboard doors/drawers

These types of noise are more noticeable if there is poor insulation between properties, rather than being due to the neighbour's unreasonable behaviour.

The Building Regulations now require new properties have to be built with enhanced sound insulation. However, there is no legal obligation to improve sound insulation to older properties.

Road, Rail and Air traffic

Steps are taken during the planning process to control this type of noise and officers in the Environmental Health Neighbourhood Team are involved in this process. Planning conditions can be imposed to control potential noise and some applications can be refused on noise grounds.

If there are plans to build a new development (eg housing, school) near an existing noisy site, the building may be required to have improved noise insulation.

More information about noise from roads, trains and aircraft can be found on the GOV.UK Website.

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