Construction and Demolition
The Council can control noise from construction and demolition sites by using powers available to it under the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
A certain amount of noise is inherent in most types of construction and building operations, which can rarely be completely prevented. However, noise from construction and demolition sites can be very disturbing.
Contractors planning to undertake construction and demolition work can make an application for a prior consent so as to establish what noise controls will be imposed on a contract. Guidance notes to assist applicants are available. The application form and guidance notes can be downloaded on the right. For informal advice prior to application see contact details on the right.
Contractors should preferably apply for a prior consent rather than face the prospect of a notice being served by the Council after they have commenced work.
The Council can serve a notice imposing requirements as to how construction works should be carried out so as to minimise noise and disturbance. The notice can cover working hours and noise limits and failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to £20,000.
Generally, the acceptable hours for noisy work within the District are: Monday to Friday, 08:00-18:00, Saturdays, 08:30-13:00. For particularly noisy work, e.g. piling and de-watering, it may be necessary to further restrict these times.
Developers must demonstrate that they use best practicable means to keep noise to a minimum. No noisy work will normally be permitted on Sundays and bank holidays. Operations outside of these hours may, however, be agreed by the Council if it can be demonstrated that the works cannot be carried out at any other time and that items of plant and equipment are operated and maintained so that their use causes the minimum amount of noise.
Sometimes, emergency works have to be undertaken, for example a burst water main. In such circumstances the normal daytime hours of operation would not apply. The work would be undertaken as soon as possible, which if undertaken at night may cause some disturbance.
Also, works on main roads would normally be undertaken outside peak times in order to minimise traffic congestion. Therefore evening and night-time working may be permitted. Noise would however be kept to as low a level as reasonably practicable.