Noise and Vibration

 

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If you live in Newcastle-under-Lyme and want to complain about noise please e-mail customerservices@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk or call 01782 742590.

Please note that there are some noises we can't investigate – see below for details.

We are currently unable to provide an emergency call-out service to deal with incidents which happen in the evenings or at weekends. However, we will aim to respond during the next working day.

Matters we will not investigate

There are a number of noise sources which the Council will not investigate:

  • children playing
  • conversation
  • doors closing
  • normal footfalls
  • footfalls on laminate flooring
  • car doors being closed
  • toilet flushing
  • poor sound insulation
  • babies crying
  • dropping objects
  • switches being turned on or off
  • road traffic noise

Advice on these and other matters which the Council will not investigate can be found here (PDF 165kb)

General advice on common noise matters can be found below

Noisy neighbours

Construction sites

Pubs, nightclubs and takeaways

Fireworks

Intruder and vehicle alarms

Noise from amplified music and parties

Barking dogs

Drum kits

Crowing cockerels

DIY noise

Bird scarers

Noisy neighbours

Domestic neighbour noise such as DIY work or loud music is the most common cause of noise complaint. It is advisable to take steps to resolve the problem yourself before involving the Council by speaking face-to-face or writing a letter to your neighbour to explain how you are affected.

There are no periods of time when the playing of loud music is specifically allowed or prohibited. If the noise is causing a nuisance to others then it is a nuisance regardless of when it happens.

Noise from wooden floors is usually classed as normal use of premises and would not be enforced by the environmental health department. If talking to your neighbour hasn't helped and your flat is leasehold, there may be a clause which states that suitable floor covering must be provided. Discuss this with your freeholder.

If you have been unable or felt uncomfortable about resolving a domestic noise problem, you can contact the Council. The Council has powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with noise from premises and to help protect residents from noise nuisance.

We may write to your neighbour (your details will remain confidential) explaining the nature of the complaint. We will send you a diary sheet to record dates and times of when you are disturbed.

If the noise continues, a Council officer will visit you to witness the noise. If there is a statutory nuisance, a noise abatement notice will be served on the person(s) responsible. You should ask other neighbours to support your complaint if they are affected. If the notice is breached, the person in receipt of the notice may be prosecuted.

Construction sites

Damage to adjoining structures due to vibration, even if superficial such as cracked plasterwork, may be provided for under the terms of a party wall agreement but please note this is not a matter for the Council. For more information about party wall agreements, please visit GOV.UK (External Link)

Enquiries relating to site safety issues or concerns about unsafe construction processes and practices should be referred to the Health and Safety Executive. (External Link)

For other information on the steps that builders and developers should be taking, see our "construction and development" page.

Pubs, nightclubs and takeaways

We will investigate complaints about noise, light and odour and take appropriate action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if a statutory nuisance is found.

Where the premises is licensed under the Licensing Act 2003, we will ensure that the licence conditions and Licensing Act objectives are being met. In appropriate cases we may call for a review of the premises licence/take appropriate enforcement action.

Residents and businesses affected by the activities taking place on a licensed premises can call for a review of the premises licence in their own right. Please see our Licensing Enforcement Page for further advice.

Fireworks

Fireworks can frighten and disturb people and animals, cause annoyance, damage and impact air quality. The Fireworks Act 2003 introduced a curfew on firework use – between 11pm and 7am – except from the following nights where the curfew begins at different times:

  • 5 November – midnight

  • New Year's Eve – 1am

  • Chinese New Year – 1am

  • Diwali  – 1am

The curfew is enforced by Staffordshire Police – please telephone 101.

Fireworks set off within the allowed times can still be a noise nuisance and the Council may take action if a statutory nuisance exists.

Intruder and vehicle alarms

Please see our intruder alarm page for further details.

Noise from amplified music and parties

Noise from parties can cause disturbance during the evening when background noise level is often lower and people are more likely to be trying to sleep. The Environmental Protection Act does not define any particular hours as night-time during which playing music is not allowed, although some tenancy agreements or leases may state hours after which no music is to be played.

Barking Dogs

Please see our barking dogs page for details.

Drum Kits

Our advice on drum kits can be downloaded here Drum kits advice (PDF 120kb)

Crowing Cockerels

Our advice on crowing cockerels can be downloaded here Crowing cockerels (PDF 121kb)

DIY

Our advice on DIY can be downloaded here DIY (PDF 178kb)

Bird Scarers

Advice on bird scarers is available from the National Farmers' Union (NFU) Bird scarers advice from the NFU (External Link)

 
 
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