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Noise Nuisance

Noise is generally regarded as unwanted sound - that is too loud, too intrusive or too persistent. The types of noise, which people frequently complain about, can be divided into three distinct types - Domestic Noise, Commercial Noise and Noise in Streets.

Domestic Noise: this includes loud music, barking dogs, burglar alarms and late-night parties.

Commercial Noise: this includes factory noise, fan noise, chiller noise, delivery noise, construction site noise and music from pubs and clubs.

Noise in Streets: this includes car alarms, ice cream chimes, machinery operating in the road and the use of loudspeakers - but not traffic.

If you are suffering from noise nuisance try and resolve the matter informally by contacting your neighbour about the problem you are experiencing. This approach may resolve the matter and provide a more long term solution. We have a booklet giving advice on talking to your neighbours.

Alternatively you can use Arch Mediation: a voluntary, confidential, impartial, non-judgmental service, with a proven history of success, helping people to resolve issues of conflict with their neighbours.

If the contact with your neighbour has not worked, Harrogate Borough Council's Environmental Protection service can undertake an investigation. Please contact us on 01423 500600 extension 56633 or at ep@harrogate.gov.uk.

How we investigate a complaint.

Information on what we do to investigate a complaint can be found in our guidance. The investigation will consider the following points:

  • When the noise happens and how long it continues
  • How often it occurs
  • Location/character of the area
  • Impact of the noise on you
  • How easy it is to avoid the noise

What is not a statutory noise nuisance:

  • A one off party
  • Neighbours arguing
  • A lawnmower used during the day
  • A baby crying or dogs barking occasionally
  • Aircraft noise: Contact the MOD for Military Aircraft on 0845 600 7580 or the Civil Aviation Authority for civil aircraft on 020 7379 7311.

What you must accept is that no house or flat is totally sound proof, everybody must expect some noise from their neighbours and we are all affected by noise from our neighbours from time to time.

Domestic noise

DEFRA website provides information on noise, including a booklet Bothered by Noise, which offers important advice when dealing with domestic noise.

Commercial noise

Construction noise is expected with the development of a site. To minimise disturbance, work should be carried out between the hours of 08:00 to 18:00 Monday - Friday and 08:00 and 13:00 hours on Saturdays.

No work should be conducted on Sundays or Bank Holidays.

Pub and clubs have noise conditions in their licences and action will be taken if they operate outside of their licensing conditions.

Low Frequency Noise

Please note that the previously available Low Frequency Noise Helpline detailed in this article has ceased due to limited resources.

Contact Us:

Environmental Protection

Tel: 01423 500 600

Email Environmental Protection

Customer Services

Tel: 01423 500 600
Contact Us
Please be aware, incoming and outgoing calls may be recorded for quality, accuracy and training purposes.

Related Information:

"I'm plagued by a 'hum' that no one else hears" is a newspaper article that indicates the frustration and stress that low frequency noise can cause people

Environmental Protection Act 1990

2015-16 Pollution Control Service Plan

Inspection and Enforcement Policy

Let us know if you have a: