Commercial and Development Noise
Noisy extractor flues, noisy machinery, fan noise, vehicle movements, vehicle alarms, entertainment noise and construction noise can be very annoying and may constitute a Statutory Nuisance.
What should you do if you are being disturbed by noise from commercial premises:
- identify where the noise is coming from
- speak to other residents or businesses who may be affected
- try speaking to the manager and explaining the problem. They are often unaware of the problem and can try to resolve it quickly
- keep some records of when, how long and the type of noise being experienced
If you are unable to speak with the manager or they don’t take any action, you will need to contact us.
Sometimes there are planning or licensing restrictions on premises and it may be easier to check compliance against these rather than proving a nuisance. For example, a pub may have operating hours or be required to keep doors shut, or a factory condenser may have a noise level limit.
Advice for businesses
If your business is close to residential property, it is best to arrange all loading and deliveries at times that will not cause a disturbance. Not all sites have time restrictions imposed on them by planning. Older sites in particular often don’t have time restrictions applied to their permission.
It is advisable wherever possible to have no deliveries after 11pm or before 7am where they are close by residential properties.
If this cannot be avoided and there are no planning conditions on the site, delivery drivers should be advised to take all reasonable precautions while undertaking deliveries:
- turn the engine off on arrival
- avoid slamming doors
- avoid dropping things
- don’t play a radio in the cab as they draw up
- don’t shout or whistle
Larger companies and distribution centres should consider acoustic fencing to help reduce noise impact on neighbouring properties, along with the combination of the measures below:
Advice for achieving quieter deliveries
The following may minimise noise disturbance to neighbours:
- gas powered vehicles
- automatic transmission
- air/rubber suspension
- rear steer/lifting axles
- air brake silencers
- automatic engine cut out to reduce idling time and noise
- reversing alarm cut-out with automatic reset
- automatic radio cut-out when the cab door opens
- low noise surfacing for load compartment floor
- load restraint system to eliminate noise
- the lining of body panels to reduce the drumming
- manual closers for doors (self-closers encourage drivers to slam)
- low noise stops on drop-down steps
- low noise wheels on roll cages
- electronically operated shutters (eliminates slamming)
- low noise surfacing on tail lift decking
- low noise stops
- sleeving on safety gate chains
- encapsulated motors
- regular maintenance particularly for exhausts
- careful selection and mounting of ancillary equipment like pumps and generators to reduce noise
- electric shutters
- effective enclosure and sealing of loading bay and docking areas to minimise noise transmission
- cutting noise from doors, music, paging systems, conversations
Development and construction work
Due to the nature of construction work, 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 plants, 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 work 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. You 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 to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 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 us where and when your activities might be expected to cause a 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.