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Noise control

Neighbours and loud music

  • Noise complaints

    Some amount of neighbourhood noise is expected, however if the noise is excessive you can report it to us.

    You can deal with it through informal action or formal action.

  • Informal action

    Neighbours may not be aware they are bothering you and may be happy to meet your requests or make a compromise. You should choose a suitable time to visit them and discuss the problem. Remember, to avoid confrontation, be calm, polite and civil.

    You may feel more comfortable bringing another person with you. However, if you don't feel able to approach your neighbour, or have already tried and were unsuccessful, more direct action may be needed.

  • Formal action

    There are two main pieces of legislation that we enforce in relation to noise.

    The Noise Act 1996 deals specifically with neighbourhood noise between 11pm and 7am. It enables our noise control officers to take instant action when excessive noise occurs. Depending on the level of noise they witness, our officers can issue a verbal warning, a warning notice or a fixed penalty notice.

    Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, we can deal with excessive noise disturbances which cause a nuisance to people living nearby.  

    The action we take depends on the type and level of disturbance you are experiencing. As every case is different our officers will assess your complaint based on:

    • loudness
    • when it occurs
    • how often and for how long
    • make-up of the local area
    • effect on you, and
    • likely effect on the average person.

    We may also ask you to keep a diary recording the dates and times of each disturbance, or to allow our officers into your property to monitor the noise. 

    If we agree that a nuisance exists or is likely to occur, we can serve the person responsible with a Noise Abatement Notice, asking them to reduce it. Evidence that the legal Notice has been breached is required before the noise maker may be brought to court.

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