Report a noise problem
Action you can take
You should first try to resolve the problem early on by talking to whoever is responsible for the noise.
If you’re worried about approaching them, write a letter, explaining the problem clearly and sticking to the facts. You can use this letter template to send to the person or organisation responsible for the noise.
You may be able to resolve the issue without having to make a formal complaint.
What you need to know
We investigate noise to check if it’s causing a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Find out what counts as a statutory nuisance from GOV.UK.
Involving the Council with a view to legal action should normally be a last resort. Any formal action activated by the council has to satisfy the threshold of evidence and be admissible in a court of law, this is a complex and often lengthy process.
Noise we can investigate:
- animals for example, barking dogs or crowing cockerels
- building sites
- burglar and car alarms
- commercial property for example, entertainment, ventilation systems, alarms, waste collections and deliveries
- industrial premises for example, factories, ventilation systems, alarms, construction/demolition
- noisy neighbours for example loud music, TV or DIY at unreasonable hours
- pubs and clubs
Noise we can't investigate:
- children playing
- everyday household noise
- malicious and/or racially motivated complaints
- noise from the street for example, engines running
- one off parties
- traffic, rail and aircraft noise
Can I remain anonymous during the investigation?
Yes, but be aware that our action will be limited to writing to the alleged offender. We will not be able to take any enforcement action because the law requires us to assess the impact of noise on the complainant.
If you provide your contact information we will not pass it onto the person or business you are complaining about. However if we take any legal or formal action your details may be disclosed.
Before making a formal complaint, try to discuss the problem with your neighbour.
If you’re worried about approaching them, write a letter, explaining the problem clearly and sticking to the facts. You can use this letter template to send to your neighbour.
If you or your neighbour are a tenant of Gloucester City Homes or a housing association you can report the noise problem to their anti-social behaviour teams and ask them to investigate. Or If your neighbour is renting from a private landlord you can report issues to the landlord directly or letting agent if they have one.
If the problem affects other neighbours, involve them as well. It can be easier to settle a dispute if the complaint comes from a number of people.
Get practical advice from the problem neighbours website
How to report a noise problem
You’ll need to a complete log sheet for a 14-day period. You can start the log on any day.
You will need to:
- download the log sheet
- add a new entry to the log every time you are disturbed by a noise nuisance over the next 14 days
- send the completed form to us via email or post, Gloucester City Council, Community Wellbeing Team, PO Box 2017, Pershore, WR10 9BJ
If you are unable to download and print the log sheets please contact us on 01452 396 396.
What happens next
1. An officer will contact you within 5 working days. The officer will assess your log sheets and advise on the next steps, they will provide you with a response telephone number which you can call to discuss the issues.
2. Electronic recording equipment may be installed in your property providing your case officer judges the complaint actionable and/or you may be asked to submit recordings via 'The Noise App’.
3. An officer may visit your home to assess the disturbance.
4. We may write to the person or organisation you are complaining about to tell them a complaint has been made. We will not give your details but please be aware that if the case goes to court you may be required to give evidence on the effects the noise is having on you.
5. If the noise continues after they have received the letter and an officer has witnessed in person or the disturbance has been recorded using the Council owned equipment and there is evidence that a statutory nuisance exists, we may serve a notice for the noise to stop or be reduced.
6. If the notice is ignored we can prosecute. We can also obtain a warrant from a magistrate, where appropriate, to seize noise making equipment.
What if the council cannot investigate my noise complaint?
If your case officer cannot find evidence of a statutory nuisance, they will advise on how you can take action yourself in the Magistrate’s Court. See the Law and environment website for more information.
Your case officer will provide you with details of your local policing team who may be able to assist you with issues of anti-social behaviour or any other organisation that might be able to help.
Your case officer may advise a restorative approach. This is where both parties are encouraged to mediate with the assistance of a restorative practitioner. This approach has had some very positive results and does require both parties to participate. Your case officer is able to make a referral. See the Restorative Gloucestershire website for more information.
Anti social behaviour
If you are also experiencing issues of anti-social behaviour your case may be referred to the Solace team within the council, this team deal with medium to high level anti social behaviour.
There may also be alternatives to statutory nuisance investigation and this will depend on your situation. Another route your case officer may consider is a Community Protection Notice.