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Our reception at Bridgwater House is currently closed, but Council services remain operational. You can contact us by calling 0300 303 7800 or by emailing

Noise nuisance

Noise can be defined as "unwanted sound" and whether it is a nuisance depends on how much it effects the enjoyment of anyone living nearby. Excessive noise can seriously affect the quality of life and health.

There is no specific decibel level that constitutes a Statutory Nuisance. It is the impact on the normal enjoyment that is more relevant.

Types of possible noise nuisances

  • Loud music for long periods of time
  • DIY work e.g. drilling, hammering, car repairs
  • Dogs barking excessively
  • House or car alarms sounding for long periods
  • Noise from commercial/industrial premises
  • Musical instruments
  • Parties with excessive noise
  • Car stereos, engines revving and car horns

Types of noise we have no powers to deal with

  • Road traffic
  • Young children playing
  • Noise associated with normal reasonable household behaviour
  • Noise caused by poor sound insulation (if the person/s is behaving reasonably)
  • Emergency road works at night carried out by utility companies

Keeping the Noise Down

It is important to consider your neighbours and try to minimise the noise you are making.


  • Be aware of your neighbours when you are doing something noisy or let them know beforehand (especially if holding a party)
  • Keep the stereo volume down, especially after 11pm, or use headphones
  • Control the bass level; low frequencies are transmitted further and through structures
  • Remember if you live in a flat or maisonette, that noise and vibration travel easily through walls and floors
  • Realise that your pleasure should not lead to your neighbours distress
  • Pull TVs and speakers away from walls and up off floors
  • Keep musical instrument practices short and at respectable times


  • Carry out noisy DIY before 8.00am or after 9pm and be mindful of neighbours even between these hours
  • If possible avoid DIY on Sundays
  • Play music at a level which annoys your neighbours
  • Have frequent noisy parties in your home
  • Leave dogs alone for long periods
  • Sound car horns, slam doors and rev engines at night - you might wake someone up
  • Don't use vacuum cleaners or washing machines late at night.

How we investigate

noise monitoring equipment Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Sedgemoor District Council is responsible for monitoring and investigating claims of noise nuisance within the area.

  • If you believe someone is causing a noise nuisance, we will ask you for the address of the premises and write to the person(s) you believe are responsible and inform them there has been a complaint.  Please note, we do not disclose details of who has complained.
  • We will also send you noise record sheets and ask you to fill these in with as much information as possible, particularly the dates and times of the noise.
  • We may install recording equipment into your home to record the alleged nuisance to help us determine if it is a statutory nuisance.  We may also wish to witness the noise.

Further information

How to complain

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

Audible Bird Scarers

Audible bird scarers have been used in agriculture for many years as a means to reduce damage to crops.

Dogs barking

Intruder and Car Alarms

Noise caused by frequently or continuously sounding vehicle or intruder alarms is a common cause of complaint. They can cause considerable distress and annoyance to neighbours particularly if they sound regularly and at night when people are trying to sleep.

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.

Reducing Cockerel and other Bird Noise

arrowChartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) arrowEnvironmental Protection UK arrowDepartment for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs arrowInstitute of Acoustics