Complaining to the Council about noise problems

Sometimes the Council can serve a legal notice on a noisy neighbour, prosecute them for not complying with the notice or even seize noisy equipment (such as stereos) to stop the problem. All of these actions are legal processes and may need to be dealt with by a court.

Before we are able to progress your complaint, providing the noise is not continuous (for example a burglar alarm), we need some written evidence from you stating the dates and times that noise occurs and how this is affecting you.

A written diary is the first step in investigating if a nuisance does or does not exist and is kept as a record of the problem. We need this because whether a noise is counted as a nuisance or not depends on several different things.

Please note: Diary record sheets form the basis of any action that the Council may take and are essential in solving any noise problem, so it is very important that you fill them in as part of the investigation.

You can download a set of noise nuisance records sheets from the documents section below or contact us and we will send you some in the post along with a return envelope.

Confidentiality

All complaints are dealt with confidentially; we do not tell the person making the noise who has complained about them.

Although we keep your details confidential we cannot accept anonymous noise complaints; this means that you will need to tell us your name and address. Generally the law needs to know that somebody is being disturbed by noise before we can do something about a complaint. A complaint cannot be proven if we do not know who is making it.

Most problems are resolved without the need for a court appearance but in the rare circumstances that a noise nuisance case does go to court it may be more difficult to keep your details confidential. A case will only go to court with your full consent.

After filling in your diary record sheets send them to us at:

Public Protection Service, Public Protection, White Dove Offices, Davyfield Road, Blackburn. BB1 2LX

If you do not return your record sheets then usually we will be unable to progress your complaint further.

After you return your diary sheets the council will contact the person who you have told us is making the noise nuisance, usually by letter. They will be told that a complaint has been received and will be asked to control their noisy behaviour. We will also contact you to explain how we can help further.

Further evidence

If the letter does not solve the problem then we need to gather more evidence about the problem noise for us to be able to help further.

The Council usually gathers further evidence in one of two ways:

  • witnessing the noise - we can visit when the noise is happening either during the day or through our night time noise service
  • noise monitoring - the Council has a selection of modern noise nuisance recorders that can be installed to gather evidence of the noise.

Once we have the evidence, we need we can make a judgment based upon it (record sheets, visits and noise monitoring).

If we decide that there is a noise nuisance we will serve a ‘noise abatement notice’ on the person responsible for the noise. This is a legal order requiring them to stop the nuisance. If they do not comply with the notice they can be prosecuted.

In certain circumstances, if the nuisance continues then the council can seize noise making equipment, e.g. stereo, TV or DJ equipment or anything else that may have been used in committing the noise offence.

Please note: we may decide that there is no noise nuisance and be unable to help you further. We act independently to decide if there is a noise nuisance according to the law and only the more serious cases are likely to need legal action.