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Noise from construction and demolition sites

Due to the nature of construction works, noise is inevitable and can rarely be completely prevented. Unfortunately, noise from construction sites can be very disturbing for people who live and work near the site, particularly if it is a large development that takes a considerable length of time and takes place in what would normally be a quiet residential area. Noise can come from the operation of plant, machinery and power tools, the movement of vehicles and deliveries of materials.

Carry out construction and demolition work considerately

It is in everyone’s interest to try to foresee any problems that could arise and plan ways to avoid them. All works on construction sites must employ ‘Best Practicable Means’ as defined by Section 72 of the Control of Pollution Act 1972 to minimise the effects of noise and vibration and should follow the guidelines given in British Standard 5228-1 2:2009: ‘Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites – Part 1 (Noise) and Part 2 (Vibration)’.

Contractors should follow the following guidelines:

  • Keep normal working hours between 8am-6pm Monday to Friday and 8am-1pm on Saturdays. There should be no noisy work carried out on Sundays or Bank Holidays
  • Ensure any particularly noisy operations and deliveries are carried out within the above times
  • Give neighbours who may be affected by particular operations at least 48 hours notice
  • Select and properly maintain the quietest suitable equipment and machinery and observe safe working practices.
  • Make sure all contractors and sub-contractors are told to carry out their work in compliance with agreed guidelines on noise and other issues such as dust
  • For long term and complex projects, arrange for detailed liaison with the local community through structured meetings with local residents.
  • Avoid the need to park on the street by providing onsite parking wherever possible.
  • Inform Somerset West and Taunton Council where and when your activities might be expected to cause disturbance.
  • Take all reasonably practical steps to prevent noise (and other issues such as dust) from causing a nuisance.
  • Do not allow the use of radios on the site in circumstances where it could cause a nuisance to neighbouring residents.

What to do if affected by noise from construction and demolition sites

In many cases the person(s) causing the noise may not even be aware of the disturbance that they may be causing. In the first instance, we recommend discussing the problem with them if you feel it is appropriate and safe to do so and try to come to a common understanding.

You can make a formal complaint to the Council. On making a complaint we will need your contact details, details of the source of the problem and any other relevant information you may have. The case officer is likely to ask you to complete records to show when the noisy works are affecting you.

If you would like us to investigate your complaint, please provide the details of the problem, where the nuisance is coming from and your details using our general enquiries online form. If you do not provide your details the complaint will not be investigated.

The Council will initially try to resolve the issue informally and formal action will only be taken if there is no co-operation. The Council has powers to control noise and other nuisances from building sites caused by contractors and subcontractors under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990. A notice can be served on the person(s) responsible for the construction operations which will specify what they are required to do to keep noise to a minimum.

During an investigation your details cannot be revealed without your permission under the Data Protection Act. However, if the case reaches the stage of going to Court and a statement is required from you to support any action taken by the Council your details can no longer be kept confidential.