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Pollution

Construction noise

The authority monitors construction activities to minimise pollution caused by noise, dust and other nuisances.  Construction sites are often near existing residential accommodation.  Construction or demolition activities will by nature generate, noise, dust or vibration. 

What can you do?

Speak to the construction company directly and raise your concerns with them.  They may be able to advise you when the work will be finished, or take steps to minimise their impact on you.

What should companies do?

Companies are required to take reasonable steps to control their impact considering the technology available and the costs involved. This is called using the best practicable means. This may include for example:

  • limiting hours of operation
  • using quieter pieces of machinery
  • using water to damp down dust

The law recognises that construction must take place and by nature may cause local problems.  Therefore, we have limited powers to help.

What will we do?

  • We can speak to the company carrying out the works and give advice on controlling their impact on the community.  We do not have legal powers to stop construction taking place if the company is taking reasonable steps or best practicable means to minimise its impact
  • We give guidelines for minimising the impact of construction noise. Where possible, noisy activities should be restricted to 8.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am - 1.00pm on Saturday
  • No noisy activities should be carried out on Sunday or bank holiday

For long term, or large-scale demolition or construction projects, companies may apply to the council under Sections 61 of The Control of Pollution Act 1974 (COPA) for a prior consent which gives the Council the power to serve a notice imposing requirements as to the way in which construction works are to be carried out.  This is not compulsory, if the company fails to comply with these controls the Council can take legal action.

Can the Council help if I am concerned about property damage?

No - we can only help where the activity is causing a statutory nuisance to you, e.g. because of the noise or dust
If you are concerned about property damage, for example, vibration causing cracks in the ceiling, speak to the company directly first. Alternatively contact a solicitor to give advice on taking action for a private claim and possible compensation.

I work nights and the noise is stopping me sleeping. Can the Council stop the construction work?

No - we can only ask the company to work during reasonable day time hours.  Speak to the company directly to see if they can help you.

Last updated Wednesday, 6th January 2016

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