A certain amount of noise is to be expected during construction and building operations. Sometimes, however, noise from construction and demolition sites can be unreasonable and avoided by a change in working practices.
We can serve a notice imposing requirements on how construction works should be carried out to minimise noise and disturbance. The notice can cover working hours and noise limits and type of equipment used - failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to £20,000.
Contractors should preferably apply for ‘prior consent’ to agree noise controls rather than face the prospect of a notice being served after work has started. There are guidance notes available to help you with your application but please contact us if you need advice.
Generally the acceptable hours for noisy work are 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. No noisy work will normally be allowed on Sundays and public holidays without prior agreement from Environmental Health. We would need to be satisfied that this work can't be carried out at any other time and that every effort has been made to cause the minimum noise and disruption. For particularly noisy work, such as piling and dewatering, it might be necessary to further restrict these times.
For larger construction sites and in sensitive locations specific hours of work will have been set at the planning application stage. If the construction work is occurring outside of the permitted hours then complaints should be referred to the planning enforcement team.
Sometimes emergency works have to be undertaken. In such circumstances the normal daytime hours of operation don't apply and the work would be undertaken as soon as possible. Unfortunately if undertaken at night this will cause some disturbance.