Noise nuisance

A noise nuisance may be something that is continuous or intermittent and can happen during the day or night but it must be unreasonable and have a substantial interference with the use or enjoyment of you at your home. It does not take into account inconvenience, annoyance or personal sensitivity for example a shift worker trying to sleep during the day or a noise as a result of a reasonable everyday activity such as from a baby crying, talking or occasional dog barking. No house or flat is totally sound proof and we're all affected by noise from time to time.

Most noise complaints fall into three areas:

  • domestic noise - loud music, barking dogs, burglar alarms and late night parties
  • commercial noise - factory noise, deliveries, construction site noise and music from pubs and clubs
  • street noise - car alarms, machinery and loudspeakers, but not traffic or aircraft

We encourage people to try to resolve the matter in an appropriate informal manner before we get involved, as experience shows, that if done well, it will often lead to better and more permanent solutions.

If this does not work, the Environmental Protection Team can investigate your complaint. Please read the noise nuisance pack which explains in more detail how the matter can be progressed.

Construction sites

Construction activities are intrinsically noisy so the biggest step to minimising a disturbance is to be reasonable about the hours of work. Our recommended hours for construction noise generating activities in a residential area are :

  • Monday to Friday from *8am until 6pm
  • Saturday from 8am until 1pm
  • Sunday and bank holidays - no noisy working

*These recommended times may be extended to 7.30am if there are no noisy activities on Saturdays.

Providing that noisy activities are restricted to these hours and provided "best practicable means" are taken to minimise the noise, then Environmental Protection is unlikely to take action on a complaint. There is however nothing to stop a person from carrying out quieter types of work (painting, decorating, etc.) past these hours, provided they do not make a noise which affects their neighbours. We will also give some leeway for domestic DIY activities during the evenings and weekends so long as they are infrequent and of short duration but it is recommend that neighbours are informed before these noisy activities take place.


There are specific regulations enforced by North Yorkshire Police that mean you cannot set off or throw fireworks in the street or other public places and you must not set off fireworks anywhere between 11pm and 7am, except for:

  • Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
  • New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am

Entertainment venues

For managers of pubs, clubs and other venues who provide or are thinking of providing entertainment such as live music, DJ’s, karaoke etc. please read our simple guide for managing entertainment noise.

Environmental protection enquiries and issues