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Commercial and Development Noise


Noisy extractor flues, noisy machinery, fan noise, vehicle movements, vehicle alarms entertainment noise and construction noise can be very annoying and may constitute a Statutory Nuisance.

What should you do if you are being disturbed by noise from a commercial premises?

  • Identify where the noise is coming from
  • Speak to other residents or businesses who may be affected
  • Try speaking to the manager and explain the problem. They are often unaware of the problem and can try to resolve it quickly
  • keep some records of when, how long and the type of noise being experienced
  • If you are unable to speak with the manager or they don't take any action, you will need to contact us. We will need:
  • Your name, address and contact telephone number
  • A description of the problem i.e. what it sounds like, when it happens and how long it goes on for
  • Information on which location the noise is coming from and how it affects you.

How will my complaint be investigated?

When you contact us we will ask you provide details of the noise you have been experiencing. If you wish, we will make contact with the premises causing the disturbance. We will also ask you to keep some records. There is a very good reason for this. We may be able to witness the noise on a one-off basis, or we may be able to record the noise, but only you can show that the noise is occurring on a regular basis. Generally noise needs to be occurring on a regular basis for it to be a Statutory Nuisance. More information can be found on our  Statutory Nuisance page.

Sometimes there are planning or licensing restrictions on premises and it may be easier to check compliance against these rather than proving nuisance. For example a pub may have operating hours or be required to keep doors shut, or a factory condenser may have a noise level limit.

Advice for Business

If your business is close to residential property it is best to arrange all loading and deliveries at times that will not cause a disturbance. Not all sites have time restrictions imposed on them by planning. Older sites in particular often don't have time restrictions applied to their permission.

It is advisable wherever possible to have no deliveries after 11pm or before 7am where they are close by residential properties. If this cannot be avoided and there are no planning conditions on the site, delivery drivers should be advised to take all reasonable precautions while undertaking deliveries; turn the engine off on arrival, avoid slamming doors, avoid dropping things, don't play a radio in the cab as they draw up, don't shout or whistle.

Larger companies and distribution centres should consider acoustic fencing to help reduce noise impact on neighbouring properties, along with the combination of the measures below:

Advice for achieving quieter deliveries

The following  may minimise noise disturbance to neighbours:

  • Gas powered vehicles
  • Automatic transmission
  • Air/rubber suspension
  • Rear steer/lifting axles
  • Air brake silencers
  • Automatic engine cut out to reduce idling time and noise
  • Reversing alarm cut-out with automatic reset
  • Automatic radio cut-out when cab door opens
  • Low noise surfacing for load compartment floor
  • Load restraint system to eliminate noise
  • Lining of body panels to reduce drumming
  • Manual closers for doors (self-closers encourage drivers to slam)
  • Low noise stops on drop-down steps
  • Low noise wheels on roll cages
  • Electronically operated shutters (eliminates slamming)
  • Low noise surfacing on tail lift decking
  • Low noise stops
  • Sleeving on safety gate chains
  • Encapsulated motors
  • Regular maintenance particularly for exhausts
  • Careful selection and mounting of ancillary equipment like pumps and generators to reduce noise
  • Electric shutters
  • Effective enclosure and sealing of loading bay and docking areas to minimise noise transmission
  • Cutting noise from doors, music, paging systems, conversations

Development and construction work

There are significant development works occurring in and around the Sedgemoor District. During the works residents may be affected by noise, vibration and maybe dust or mud from sites under construction.

While nearby residents will have to accept some disturbance during demolition or construction this does not give construction companies or builders carte blanche to do as they please.

If you are having problems with a site and you do not believe they are acting in a reasonable manner please contact us. There may be planning restrictions on hours and type of operation and in addition they may be causing a Statutory Nuisance.

Further more detailed information can be found by reading the following leaflet or visiting the related websites below.

Icon for pdf Advice on Pollution Issues - Noise Nuisance [440.52KB]

How to complain

If you wish to complain you can call us on the number below, or online here:  Report a nuisance - noise or other pollution

Environmental Protection Act 1990 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Environmental Protection UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Institute of Acoustics