Noise Complaints

The Environmental Health Department receives many reports of alleged noise nuisance but only noise assessed to be a 'statutory nuisance' can be investigated.

How to Complain about Noise Disturbance

The council's Environmental Health Department is responsible for investigating allegations of Statutory Nuisance caused by excessive noise and you can complain directly to them about noise which is causing you a problem.

However, in the first place it may be helpful if you can approach the person responsible for the problem and explain to them the nature of the problem.  They may not realise that they are causing you a problem.

You may wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for advice about your rights.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Telephone: 0870 1264050

Milton Keynes CAB

If the above does not help then complaints can be made to the Council's Environmental Health Department by completing our online form.  Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated.  Complaints made to the out of hours service will not be seen by an officer until office hours of the next working day.

Dealing with complaints of noise disturbance

 

Noise Complaint numbers received by Milton Keynes Council per quarter:

Year

Jan – March

April – June

July – Sept

Oct – Dec

Total

2018

403

586

706

 

1695

2017

545

606

587

397

2135

Type and number of noise complaints received in the 12 month period 1/9/17 to 1/9/18

Noise type

Number of complaints received

Alarm

94

Barking Dog

325

Bells

4

DIY

44

Fireworks

10

Low Frequency Sound

22

Machinery – Fixed

34

Music

597

Animals / Birds

19

Party

91

People

436

Machinery – Mobile

135

P.A. Systems

15

Shooting

6

TV/Radio

48

Unidentified / Other

103

Vehicle Repairs

21

Vehicles

74

Total

2078

The Environmental Health Department investigates cases of alleged noise nuisance but only noise assessed to be a 'statutory nuisance' can be investigated.  A 'statutory nuisance' is defined as a substantial interference of well-being, comfort and enjoyment of land.  The Environmental Health Department cannot investigate 'ordinary living noise' including but not exclusively; 

  • Shutting doors,
  • walking up and down stairs,
  • children playing, 
  • A matter concerned with poor sound insulation between the properties

With an initial complaint of noise disturbance, the Environmental Health Department will normally ask you to complete a Noise pack (PDF, 323KB)  if you do not have the facilities to download or print the noise pack you can contact the Environmental health team and they will send you a "noise pack", usually within five working days.

No further action will be taken until you have filled in the diary sheets from the noise pack and returned them to the office.  It is necessary to do this in order to show that there is a significant noise problem which requires the intervention of the Environmental Health Department.

For the Council to take legal action against noise nuisance, the noise must be proven by a council officer to be both unreasonable and excessive.  The Courts will only consider something a nuisance if it would be a nuisance to a “reasonable person”.

However, in some cases there may be a necessity for the Environmental Health Department to take urgent action.  For example, in cases which affect a large number of people (i.e. major noise incidents) you will be contacted by an officer as soon as possible to obtain further details and explain what action will be taken

Complaints to the Council of noise disturbance outside office hours

As from the 1 April 2017 complaints can only be made out of office hours through online reporting.  The complaint will be reviewed by an officer during office hours of the next working day.

Obligation to inform prospective property purchasers about complaints

Remember that if you do make a complaint to the local authority and then later sell your property, you are under a legal obligation to advise the purchaser of this fact, the current situation and the reasons why the complaint was made in the first place. Failure to do this could result in a claim being made against you by the purchaser.

 

 

 

Last Updated: 8 January 2019