Noise complaints

Dealing with complaints of noise disturbance

Environmental Health 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.

Noise disturbance is by far the most common anti-social behaviour reported to Milton Keynes City Council, which receives over 2,000 noise complaints each year.

It may be helpful if you can approach the person responsible for the noise and explain to them the nature of the problem.  They may not realise that they are causing you a disturbance.

Anonymous complaints will not be investigated. We no longer have an out of hours service. 

If you are a council tenant please report it to our Anti-Social Behaviour Team.

Environmental Health investigates noise nuisance to determine if a 'statutory nuisance' exists. A 'statutory nuisance' is defined as a substantial interference of well-being, comfort and enjoyment of land. One off or infrequent noise events, such as a birthday party, will not be investigated.

Environmental Health cannot investigate 'ordinary living noise' including but not exclusively; 

  • Shutting doors
  • Footfall
  • Children playing
  • A matter concerned with poor sound insulation between the properties

With an initial complaint of noise disturbance, Environmental Health will ask you to complete a noise diary of when the noise is disturbing you. There may, however, be specific circumstances where this won't be necessary.

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 Environmental Health.

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”. For example the law does not take in account night shift workers or those who are particularly sensitive to sound.

However, in some cases there may be a necessity for Environmental Health 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.

How to complain about noise disturbance

Report a noise disturbance by completing the online form  

The Noise App 2.0

MK City Council Environmental Health Department has recently started using ‘The Noise App 2.0’ for smartphone users to capture examples of the problematic noise they are experiencing on their device for use as supporting evidence in statutory nuisance investigations. The App can be downloaded for free to iPhone and Android smartphone users at the website below and there are details on the website in respect of how to use the App to submit recordings. When asked to choose a service provider please search for Milton Keynes Council, then choose it from the drop down menu.

Complaints to the council of noise disturbance outside office hours

  • 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, 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.

Noise complaints received by Milton Keynes City Council per quarter:


  • January to March - 520
  • April to June - 656
  • July to September - 789
  • October to December - 593
  • Total – 2558

Top 5 Sources

  1. Music – 751
  2. People – 515
  3. Barking Dogs – 316
  4. Plant/Machinery Mobile – 177
  5. Parties - 159


  • January to March - 490
  • April to June - 649
  • July to September - 894
  • October to December - 455
  • Total – 2488

Top 5 Sources

  1. Music – 671
  2. People – 479
  3. Dog Barking – 461
  4. Plant/Machinery Mobile – 159
  5. Parties - 146


  • January to March - 461
  • April to June - 727
  • July to September - 851
  • October to December - 425
  • Total – 2464

Top 5 Sources

  1. Music – 702
  2. People – 518
  3. Barking Dogs – 403
  4. Plant/Machinery Mobile – 186
  5. Parties - 153