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Pollution Control - Noise

Noisy Neighbours - Noise is an inevitable part of urban living however sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you feel your neighbour is making inappropriate levels of noise.

What can I do...?

If you have noisy neighbours, there are five options available to you.

1. Speak to your neighbour   

If you feel it is safe to do so it is advisable to approach the person responsible for the noise and raise the problem with them. Often this informal approach will resolve the problem.

2. Contact us   

If this fails, or you don't wish to make such an approach, you can contact us via Online Form: Report Noise Pollution (recommended), or by telephone 01268 533333.

We will contact the person allegedly causing the nuisance and advise them that we have received a complaint and we are monitoring the situation. You will be sent an observation sheet to record dates and times when the noise occurs.

If a Statutory Nuisance, or noise problem, is substantiated the Council will serve an Abatement Notice under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Should the Abatement Notice be breached we will seize equipment and/or prosecute.

We will write to you when we have completed our investigation.

3. Contact a Mediation Service

There are independent organisations that offers help in resolving neighbour disputes. They are impartial and confidential and may be able to help you resolve the matter informally. However, although some are charitable concerns which work on a voluntary basis, others may be commercial enterprises and may charge for their services. Make sure you check any fee arrangements before you enter into an agreement.

4. Basildon Magistrates Court   

If we are unable to take action you can make an application direct the Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Magistrates will need to be persuaded that the noise is a statutory nuisance. It is therefore important that you have kept accurate records of the problem and how it disturbs you.

Basildon Magistrates Court
Great Oaks
Basildon
Essex
SS14 1JA

Tel 01245 313300 (select Basildon option)

5. Civil Action   

Civil Action - involves seeking an injunction to stop the person from continuing the nuisance. This can be costly, therefore it is highly advisable to get legal advice before taking this action.


Can The Police Help?

The power to abate noise nuisance rests with the local authority, however we work closely with the Police who support our enforcement role. The Police may take action if they feel a breach of the peace has occurred or is likely to occur.



Don't be a noisy neighbour! Tips for keeping the peace.   

Music & TV's   

A good test is if you can hear your music/TV outside then it is too loud and should be turned down, or consider maybe you should be using headphones.

Set your music bass control at a low level - the bass beat can be particularly irritating.

Parties   

Neighbours are much more likely to understand if they are warned or even invited. If possible, keep any amplified equipment inside. If the equipment must be outside then the volume should be turned down as low as possible and after midnight should be taken inside. Keep your entertaining to special occasions. Regular gets together are more likely to offend than one off events. When your guests leave ask them to leave quietly.

Household chores   

Don't do doing washing or vacuuming in the middle of the night. Remember just because you are awake doesn't mean everyone is.

It may also help the to reduce the noise if you site household equipment such as washing machines, dish washers away from partition walls or place them on a carpet or rubber mat to reduce vibration.

Consider mowing the lawn and using garden power tools at a reasonable time - not early morning or late evening when the noise could be most annoying.

D.I.Y.   

When doing DIY, try and make sure you carry out the noisiest jobs during the day. Keep the evening for quieter work such as painting and decorating.

Warn your neighbours if you are going to make unavoidable noise such as doing DIY .

Dogs   

If you own a dog, train it not to bark unnecessarily. Never leave your dog alone for long periods - ask a friend to exercise it during your absence. In law a barking dog can be a noise nuisance and you could be prosecuted if you do nothing to stop it.

Fireworks   

Consider your neighbours and their pets when letting off your fireworks. Do not let them off late at night and inform your neighbours. Why not attend an organised firework display instead. They are always safer than a firework display in your back garden.

Cars   

Always drive quietly in built up areas and avoid revving your engine unnecessarily. Keep the silencer in good condition and only use your horn in an emergency.

It is illegal to sound the horn between the hours of 11.30pm and 07.00am and anytime when the vehicle is stationary unless it is an emergency.

Don't play your car stereo for the whole world to hear especially when you are parked and the windows are open.

Household Alarms   

A household alarm is great for disturbing potential intruders however in a residential area they can cause great disturbance for a large number of residents.

We urge people with alarms to register key holder details with us to ensure that if the alarm goes off, then it can be dealt with as quickly as possible by alerting the key holder.

     

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