Information on noise complaints we can investigate
Loud music and parties
We are unable to take action against one off parties as we need sufficient evidence to serve a legal notice.
If a neighbour is having regular parties, playing loud music or have a very loud TV and where the noise is coming from is a housing association tenant or Wiltshire Council housing tenant please contact them as there will be conditions on their tenancy agreement to control noise.
If the property where the noise is coming from is privately owned or rented, please follow our noise complaint procedure.
Household noise, for example, shutting doors, walking up and down stairs, children playing, flushing toilets, washing machines and general noise between flats where there is poor insulation or laminated floors have been installed is not actionable under our legal powers. If the property is owned by a Housing Association or Wiltshire Council Housing you can seek advice from them.
If your complaint is in relation to anti-social behaviour such as shouting, arguments, swearing, verbal abuse, the authority has a dedicated anti-social behaviour team.
Noise from licensed premises
Most pubs and clubs and premises that sell alcohol need to have a license issued by our licensing team.
Many premises have license conditions that allow amplified or live music to be played within specific times.
Live amplified music in on-licensed premises authorised and open for the sale of alcohol does not require a licence for audiences up to 500 until 11pm.
Live unamplified music does not need a licence and there is no audience limit between 8am to 11pm.
If you experiencing noise from licensed premises please complete noise monitoring sheets and return to us as this provides us with evidence and information on how often the music is played.
Fan or air conditioning noise
If you are being regularly impacted by noise from fans or air conditioning units we can investigate provided the noise is audible within your property. We would recommend contacting the business first to see if they are aware of the problem and if there is anything they can do to deal with the issue. However if this does not resolve the problem please follow our noise complaint procedure.
Living in a mainly rural area you may hear noise from farms either operating in a farm yard or out in fields. This is not noise we would routinely investigate as often the farmers need to be working late at night to complete work before the weather changes.
If you are being affected by noise that has recently increased for example if you believe that a milking parlour has new equipment which has increased the noise level then we may be able to investigate. Please follow our noise complaint procedure.
Noise and Planning Applications
Noise is a material consideration when planning applications are being determined. The Planning Department will consult the Environmental Control and Protection Team when they believe there is the potential for noise to have an adverse impact. It is expected that applications of this nature will contain sufficient evidence to allow Environmental Control and Protection Officer to make an informed recommendation to the Planning Department.
Noise impacts can sometimes be very complex and usually need to be assessed by an acoustic professional. There are a number government and non-statutory guidance documents available to support these assessments. The Noise and Planning Guidance below is intended to provide guidance to Wiltshire Council Officers when reviewing planning applications and making recommendations to the Development Management service. The document may also assist those seeking planning permission, and their advisors, by drawing to their attention the noise and vibration issues that may need to be addressed. The aim is to provide clarity for developers in understanding our expectations where there is no national guidance or where national guidance may be open to interpretation in certain circumstances.
If you are being impacted by noise from neighbours carrying out DIY activities we would suggest that if possible you try and talk to your neighbour to advise the noise is causing you a problem and try and agree reasonable hours and times for the work to be carried out.
If the DIY work is continuing for a period of time for example more than a few weeks and is audible within your property then we may be able to take action. Please follow our noise complaint procedure.
If you are carrying out noisy DIY works outside of the normal construction hours we would recommend, that you consider the time of day you are doing the work, is it reasonable? Could you do this work at a different time? Is there another way of completing the work without causing a noise problem?
If you are experiencing fan or extraction noise and the noise is constant and continues for long periods for example more than two hours at a time, and your home is being affected we would initially recommend contacting the business to advise them of the issue and asking if there is anything that can be done to reduce or limit the noise.
If approaching the business does not result in an acceptable improvement, please our noise complaint procedure.
Where an alarm from a building or a car is sounding and is audible within your property we can take action. When the alarm is a problem out of normal working hours then we may only be able to take action if we can access the alarm externally on a house.
House alarms should be installed to comply with British Standard 4737 which requires a 20 minute cut off the alarm sounding.
If you are affected by an alarm wait an hour to see if the alarm goes off on its own and if it doesn't then contact us by telephone. We need to know the exact location of where the alarm as we do not have the resources to go looking for the source of the noise. For car alarms we need details of the type of car and the registration number.
If you are being affected by noise from dog barking over a prolonged period of time we would suggest that you politely speak to the person who owns the dog to advise that the barking is causing you a problem. It is possible that if the dog is barking when it is left on its own then the owner may not be aware. Advice on how "Constant dog barking can be avoided" can be found in a leaflet .
If you are unable to deal with noise yourself then you must follow our noise complaint procedure.
It is essential for us to be able to deal with barking dogs that you provide us with the address of the property where the noise is coming from.
The dog barking must be causing you an issue within your own property. We are unable to deal with noise from dogs that are barking which you may notice when you are out walking.
When we have received completed monitoring sheets with sufficient evidence to indicate a noise problem we will write to the person with the barking dog.
It can be difficult to substantiate a nuisance from dog barking due to the difficulty in gaining enough evidence; hence we send letters and offer the advice of our dog warden service.
Further information and advice on dog barking can be found on our dog warden web pages.
Construction sites are often noisy due to the nature of the activity and the machinery used. Site managers and or builders must take best practicable means to limit the disturbance from noise particularly to local residents.
It is recommended that site managers and builders contact local residents if there are particular noisy activities planned and provide a contact number to report noise problems.
We would recommend that noisy construction site activities are undertaken Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm with no working on Sundays and Bank holidays. This does not prevent quiet activities such as painting happening outside of these hours.
If you are being affected by construction noise we would suggest that you try and contact the person responsible to let them know it's causing an issue. If this fails contact us and we can visit the site and offer advice. If necessary a notice may be served to limit the hours of operation.
Wiltshire has many different sporting activities that take place, for example motorsports, clay pigeon shooting, horse competitions.
Noise from sporting activities is often controlled and limited thorough planning permission conditions. However not all sporting activities are controlled by planning conditions. In order for the team to investigate complaints about noise activities please follow our noise complaint procedure..
Car and Motorbike noise
We are unable to take action against vehicles using the highway day to day. This includes early morning starts by neighbours vehicles or milk rounds where these still exist. The level of noise produced by road vehicles is governed by design regulations which set out the performance the vehicle must achieve. These maximum levels are a common feature of product design law. For example you may have seen maximum decibel levels displayed on lawn movers and other noisy household equipment. Where adaptations are made illegally, this is enforced by the Wiltshire Police under highway legislation.
We do have some powers to deal with noise emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in the street. This can include very loud radios or inappropriate use of plant or machinery. In the case of the latter, those engaged in demolition or construction can apply for a type of permit under the control of Pollution Act 1974 which prescribes limit and controls for noise levels.
If the noise is from car parks where car owners are congregating at night, we would recommend contact the land owner, the police and the anti-social behaviour team
Ice cream vans
There are various controls for the noise made from the chimes of ice cream vans. The chime should only be played after 12 noon and before 7pm and should not cause a reasonable annoyance. If you are affected by the noise from ice cream vans please follow our noise complaint procedure,, and make a note of the traders name together with the registration number of the vehicle.