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Noise

The Council has powers to deal with certain types of noise. In order for us to take action, the noise must class as a statutory nuisance.

Statutory nuisance is more than just annoyance and will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of anyone affected. Some people may find a noise annoying, but it might not be a statutory nuisance in the eyes of the law.

Factors considered when assessing statutory nuisance include:

  • Duration and frequency of the noise

  • Reasonableness

  • Time of day

  • Type of area

Report a noise nuisance

It is often better to try to resolve problems by speaking to the person who is causing the noise disturbance, if this is possible without putting your safety at risk. The introduction of a third party such as the Council may inflame the situation rather than resolve it.

If you feel you are unable to approach the person causing the problem you could use mediation to try to resolve the issue. The  Guildford Mediation Service is a free, impartial and confidential service, which helps neighbours to resolve conflicts.

If the situation does not improve, you can  report the noise nuisance using our online form.

Noise complaints we can investigate:

  • Barking dogs

  • Car alarms

  • Construction site noise

  • DIY works

  • Intruder alarms

  • Amplified music/parties

  • Noise from commercial premises

  • Noise from pubs and clubs

Noise we do not have the power to deal with:

  • Traffic noise

  • Aircraft noise

  • Children playing inside or outside

  • Complaints where the noise is a problem because the complainant is "sensitive" due to personal/medical reasons

  • General domestic/living noises

  • Noise transmitted by poor sound insulation

  • Noisy behaviour in public places

  • Noise from works e.g. road works due to gas/electric/water or works to the railway at night

Investigating your noise complaint

  • You will be asked to keep a record of dates, times and how the noise affects you, covering at least a two week period.

  • An officer will assess your noise record information to determine if the problem requires further action. If we do not receive your record within 30 days of the complaint, the case will be closed.

  • If the noise is a potential statutory nuisance, we will write to the person responsible. If this resolves the matter and you do not report further incidents within 30 days, the case will be closed.

If the noise disturbance continues

  • We will arrange for the noise to be witnessed. This may include the use of noise monitoring equipment.

  • If a statutory nuisance is established the Council will issue a notice requiring the person responsible for the noise to stop.

  • If the noise nuisance continues and evidence is sufficient, we can take the offender to court for not complying with the notice.

  • You may also be able to undertake your own private legal action.