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Preface First

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Domestic premises

Noise or ‘unwanted sound’ from a neighbouring property may amount to a statutory nuisance if it is significant and unreasonable. A statutory nuisance is more than annoyance and much more than you being able to hear a noise coming from yourneighbours property.

A statutory nuisance is difficult to define, but is essentially:

  • an unreasonable act which interferes with the enjoyment of another’s property and
  • a regular occurrence which continues for a period of time which makes it unreasonable

Burnley Borough Council will investigate complaints of noise nuisance from the following sources: 

  • playing of amplified music
  • playing of musical instruments
  • loud TV
  • parties and BBQs
  • D.I.Y. works
  • barking dogs
  • cockerels
  • intruder alarms

We are normally unable to take action in relation to general living noise, such as: 

  • occasional dog barking
  • footsteps
  • doors slamming
  • people arguing
  • people congregating in the street
  • babies crying
  • children playing
  • moving furniture
  • normal use of domestic appliances

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 also exempts certain measures from the control of local authorities: 

  • trains
  • road traffic – we are unable to act regarding vehicles on the highway
  • aircraft noise

If you are disturbed by noise from a neighbour, the first and often best solution is to politely inform the person responsible that the noise they are making is causing you a problem and ask them to reduce it. Tactics like knocking on walls, shouting or retaliating with your own noise often irritate others and rarely, if ever, solve the problem.

If this approach does not help or you feel unable to contact your neighbours directly, you may wish to download our noise diary sheet and advice leaflet. Once we receive your completed diary sheet we will contact you about your complaint.

Although the identity of complainants is not disclosed initially without your permission, in many cases it may be obvious who made the complaint.

We are unable to accept anonymous complaints.

In some cases, individuals may become over-sensitive to noise generated by their neighboursand the noise being made would not actually be considered unreasonable.

It is not always possible for a Council Officer to take formal action or resolve your complaint. In such instances, you may be advised to consider taking your own private action

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