Commercial pollution complaints

Commercial noise complaints

The Pollution Team has a range of powers to deal with unwanted noise that may be causing a problem. Common sources of noise from commercial premises that we may be able to help with include:

  • noise from industrial or agricultural sources
  • pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • noise from outdoor events
  • construction sites
  • alarms

What can you do about a commercial noise problem?

Speak face-to-face

If you have not already done so try speaking to the company or premises causing the noise, face-to-face, politely asking them to be aware that their noise disturbs you and ask them to stop.

Write a letter

Consider writing a polite letter to the person creating the noise, explaining how their noise affects you and asking them to stop. Remember to keep a copy yourself.

Complete a nuisance record sheet

Record details of the noise and how it affects you.

How can we help with noise?

If you have tried to resolve the noise problem yourself, or do not feel comfortable in doing so, then we may be able to help.

Report a commercial noise complaint

Report your complaint online


Noise sources

Pubs and clubs

Noise originating from pubs and clubs can be annoying to local residents if it is uncontrolled or exceeds what one could reasonably expect from an entertainment venue.

Residents must be prepared to experience some inconvenience if they live near to a pub or club, but sometimes this becomes intolerable.

Whenever possible, if a new pub or club is opening, or an existing premises is undergoing refurbishment, we try to anticipate the likely noise problems.

For existing premises, an officer will visit to assess the seriousness of the complaint and to establish the cause and any possible solutions. The owner or manager will then be informed of the situation and given advice on possible solutions. Wherever possible, improvements will be achieved by agreement. If this is not successful, the action considered necessary will be incorporated as requirements in a Statutory Notice and a possible review of the premises licence.

Construction site noise

Much of the plant and machinery and methods of work used in construction and demolition are intrinsically very noisy and may give rise to vibration.

Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 the Council has specific powers to deal with noise from construction sites. The main method of control is through restricting the hours during which noisy works are permitted.

As a general rule, noisy works should only be undertaken between the hours of 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. No noisy works should be carried out on Sundays or Bank Holidays. Within these hours, there is an expectation under this legislation that ‘best practicable means’ will be used to prevent nuisances occurring.

In some circumstances, for example, emergency works or works to Highways may be undertaken outside of these hours. Such works will require prior approval from the Council and will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Outdoor events

Many outdoor events, particularly those held during the summer, involve noisy activities. These activities can include music, fireworks, fairgrounds and rides, public address systems or generators. Noise from these activities can therefore be a source of annoyance to local residents, and measures should be taken to minimise it.

Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts

There is a nationally recognised Code of Practice (PDF 75.1KB) which Central Bedfordshire Council require any site operator to adhere to.

Those responsible for arranging events should consider the potential for noise at the planning stage. The Pollution Team within Public Protection can be contacted for advice.