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Commercial and construction noise

We can investigate complaints about noise from commercial premises that is seriously affecting your right to enjoy your home.

Make a commercial noise complaint

What to do

If you wish to contact us about a commercial noise complaint we recommend you take the following actions:

  1. You should first read our definition of statutory nuisance
  2. Approach the business to see if it is possible to resolve the matter informally before pursuing a formal complaint with us
  3. If you are unable to resolve the complaint start keeping a noise nuisance diary(pdf, 47KB). You can read our diary guidance notes(pdf, 21KB) for more information
  4. We advise you let the business know of your intention to make a formal complaint if the matter is not resolved informally; This can be done by letter or email. You should keep copies of all correspondence
  5. Finally, if the problem continues report it online and attach your diary sheets

What happens next

  1. Once you have reported your complaint you should continue to complete and submit ongoing diaries of the noise while your complaint is investigated
  2. Investigations may be carried out until we are satisfied that there is a statutory noise nuisance or not. If appropriate, we may take enforcement action against the person(s) causing the noise
  3. Your identity will be kept confidential during our investigations; however it may have to be disclosed if formal enforcement action is taken

Report a nuisance

Construction noise in working hours

We are aware that there are additional people currently working from home who are more likely to be affected by the operation of construction sites during the hours set out below. However we are not able to prevent sites from operating during the permitted times to prevent disturbance to their neighbours.

Construction work is an essential part of maintenance and upgrades, and can potentially cause disruption and disturbance to surrounding properties. There are a number of codes of practice and guidance on how sites can mitigate noise and dust, however even within this guidance sites may still be noisy and can affect neighbours.

Local authorities have powers under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to request sites use best practice and where necessary keep noisy works within certain hours. Normally the hours for noisy works are:

  • 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
  • 8am to 1pm Saturday
  • No noisy works on Sundays and Bank Holidays

It is important to understand that this legislation is intended to provide respite to those suffering continuous site noise and is not intended to be used for one-off short duration pieces of work or DIY.

There are occasions where works can and have to happen outside these hours, in emergency situations, for safety reasons or complex activities that once started cannot cease until complete. These hours do not necessarily apply to important infrastructure maintenance such as railway works, highways activities or other emergencies, where other considerations need to be included.

It will be the decision of an officer of the council as to the appropriate use of this legislation given the individual circumstances.

Guidance and code of practice

All sites must adhere to our construction code of practice (pdf, 1.9 MB).

The Greater London Authority provides more detailed guidance on the control of dust from construction and demolition sites (pdf, 529 KB).

Updated: 13 October 2021

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