Noise from neighbours and commercial/industrial noise is a common source of nuisance and can be upsetting. The City Council can investigate complaints about noise and take all possible action to resolve them. Noise nuisance may occur at any time of the day or night.

What can you do?

Before contacting the City Council you may wish to contact the person responsible for causing the noise and explain politely that you are being troubled by it. Although you may find this difficult it is surprising how often neighbours are unaware of the problems they are causing. Most will be glad to do what they can to reduce the noise and appreciate a personal approach rather than involving the council'. If the noise continues you may write to them and ask them to stop making the noise nuisance.

Report nuisance noise

If you feel unable to personally contact your neighbour, or if this approach fails, you can report nuisance noise to us. 

Report a problem with noise

The following details will be required:

  1. Your name, address and day time telephone number or e-mail address.
  2. The name and address of the property causing the noise problem.
  3. The type of noise being created.

You will be contacted to discuss the complaint and the way your complaint will be dealt with.

What will happen after I complain? 

Depending upon the type of noise complaint, an informal letter may be sent to the noise maker requesting that the noise is abated. Many complaints are resolved in this manner. Your details are never divulged and you would be advised to contact the council again if the noise continues.

You will also be asked to keep a diary recording dates and times of any noise nuisance, what the nuisance was, the effect it has on you and of any conversations you have or letters you write. The diary sheet should be kept for a period of 14 to 21 days and returned after that time to the council. The officer will consider factors such as the type of noise, how loud it is, how often and at what time it occurs.

Noise monitoring of the problem will then be carried out in your home - either using specialist noise recording equipment or if the noise occurs in a regular pattern officers will visit your home at a time when the noise is occurring.

Formal action by the City Council

If the noise monitoring confirms the noise problem a decision will then be made as to whether a 'statutory noise nuisance' exists. If the City Council is satisfied of this an 'Abatement Notice' will be served.

Abatement Notices are served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. They require the person responsible to stop causing the nuisance. If the person fails to comply with the Notice he/she is guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted.

Out of hours complaints

You may be aware that from the 15 February 2015 the City Council has begun to operate a slightly remodelled noise complaint service.

Noise and anti-social behaviour are important issues to the City Council and we remain committed to dealing with them effectively. Noise complaints can be made 24 hours a day.

We still operate a Noise Service. There are no changes to the day time noise service. But we will no longer attend in response noise complaints received during the night, these will be logged and passed to the day time noise service.

The service will continue to provide a response to noise complaints five days a week (Monday - Friday) from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Calls received after this time will be dealt with by a 24-hour call centre staffed by Your Homes Newcastle and sent to the team for investigation over the following working days. Noise complaints can be made through the City Council’s main number (0191) 2787878.

If the call relates to serious anti-social behaviour the caller may be signposted to Northumbria Police’s 101 number, and, if appropriate, to YHN for action.

In order to maintain decent standards the service will continue to be monitored and reviewed to meet operational need.

Anti-social behaviour

Noise can be part of a more serious neighbour problem. The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows social landlords, Councils and Police to take action against individuals who are behaving in an anti-social way.  

Taking your own action

Where the City Council is unable to satisfy itself of the existence of a statutory noise nuisance, for example if the noise only occurs occasionally and it is not possible to witness it, you can take independent action by complaining direct to the Magistrates' Court. This action is taken under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

This is a fairly simple inexpensive procedure and you do not need to employ/involve a Solicitor. Before going to the Court it would be helpful if you can show the Magistrates' that you have taken the following action:

  1. That you have written to the person causing the nuisance advising him/her that you will be taking the matter to the Magistrates' Court if they do not stop making the noise within a specified period of time, for example, two weeks. Keep a copy of the letter.
  2. Kept a diary and recorded all noisy events detailing the time the noise starts and stops, its duration and the type of noise and type of interference it causes, see example below.
Date Start time End time Description of noise Effect of noise
10 September 2015 11.00pm 12.45am Very loud television Woke me up, could not get back to sleep due to loudness despite all windows closed

Noise Guide (pdf, 139kb)

Contact us

For further information, please contact Public Safety and Regulation, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. 
Phone: 0191 2787878 Email: psr@newcastle.gov.uk 

Page last updated: 
13 October 2016
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