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Noise nuisance


Noisy neighbours

If you have a noise complaint about a neighbour you can report it online

Common noise complaints

Most of the noise complaints we get are about:

  • loud music
  • large or frequent parties
  • noise levels after 11.00pm
  • DIY eg power tools, strimmers, lawn mowers
  • barking dogs
  • burglar alarms and car alarms

What we can't investigate

  • Dogs barking only to stimuli eg people coming to the door
  • Very short lived noise eg random bangs or banging doors
  • Music during the day for periods of 3 hours or less
  • Ministry of Defence operations (contact the Ministry of Defence)
  • Everyday living noise eg children running around in a flat, children crying at night, alarm clocks, vacuuming
  • Aircraft (contact the Civil Aviation Authority)
  • When the complaint is only due to the reporter working nights and wishing to sleep in the day
  • One off events eg birthday parties, emergency works
  • Noise because of poor sound insulation
  • Anonymous complaints

What you can do

Have a chat

Before you make an official complaint about noise, have a friendly chat with whoever's responsible first. They may not realise that they're disturbing you.

Research into noise issues shows that problems are most likely to be solved when people work out a solution between them. You'll find practical guidance of how to do this using the link below:

Mediation

Mediation can often resolve the situation amicably, preventing any bad feeling and further conflict.

You can contact Shepway and Dover Mediation Service, a free, independent and confidential service specialising in resolving neighbour disputes.

Initially you can discuss the problem with a trained mediator and if you agree they can then approach your neighbour on your behalf.

You do not have to approach your neighbour before you contact Shepway and Dover Mediation.

Take your own legal action

You don't need us in order to take legal action if you are bothered by noise nuisance, you can take action yourself.

We know it looks complicated, so we've created a step-by-step guide you can follow through from beginning to end.

Quite a few people have used this system over the years and have shown that it works.

pdf icon A guide to taking your own legal action [369kb]

Report it to us

If the above aren't possible, or you feel intimidated report it online.

Report noise nuisance Report a barking dog

Alternatively:

  • write to Environmental Health, Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone CT20 2QY; or,
  • call 01303 858660, or 01303 221888 out of office hours

What information do I need to provide?

Give as much information as you can, for example:

  • the address the noise is coming from
  • the name of the person responsible for it
  • what the noise is like
  • when and how often it occurs

What happens next?

After making your report, the case will be allocated to an officer who will initially look to resolve the matter informally. This may mean talking to both parties, setting noise levels where an officer is present at both properties to assess the level of noise that can be heard and for all parties to agree to the new levels set.

Formal action

We have a duty to deal with any noise we consider to be unreasonable:

  • we can take away audio equipment if the noise is serious and persistent
  • we can issue a noise abatement notice on the person responsible - if they don't comply they can be prosecuted

Car alarms and burglar alarms

We'll try to contact the key holder or vehicle owner and if we can't after an hour, we'll get a warrant to enter the property and turn off the alarm. For car alarms, we'll disconnect the alarm or remove the vehicle. Deactivating the alarm can cost the owner £100 or more.