Irrespective of planning consents, if residents complain of noise nuisance from specific premises, the Local Authority representative (normally an Environmental Health Officer) must investigate the complaint, attend the site and decide whether the noise comprises a statutory nuisance. There are no numerical criteria for such a decision although noise measurements may be used to support a subjective assessment. If a statutory nuisance is judged to occur, or be likely to occur or recur, the Local Authority is required to issue an abatement notice under Section 80 of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act (as amended by the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993)
Unless an appeal is successful there is a legal requirement to comply with the conditions set out in the notice. Failure to comply is an offence under criminal rather than civil law and substantial fines can be imposed. A notice is not usually lifted or withdrawn as continued compliance with the conditions of the notice is normally required to prevent a recurrence of nuisance.
If your business or organisation have been served with a noise abatement notice to identify and advise on ways of reducing noise. We can also provide an independent noise assessment if you choose to appeal against the notice.
We always advise that residents should first pursue noise complaints with their Local Authority but if you are unsatisfied with the process or the outcome then we can assist in providing an independent noise assessment and liaising with the Local Authority to resolve the problem.
We can provide expert witness services if required – for more information on this, see our expert witness page.