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 2,400 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.

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 Environmental Health

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 Neighbourhood Services

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
  • Walking up and down stairs
  • 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  


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 - 516
  • April to June - 636
  • July to September - 742
  • October to December - 570
  • Total - 2464


  • January to March - 370
  • April to June - 684
  • July to September - 819
  • October to December - 390
  • Total - 2263


  • January to March - 356
  • April to June - 508
  • July to September - 660
  • October to December - 335
  • Total - 1859