Different types of noise are regulated under different laws and government legislation.
We also have a noise policy that sets out how we will deal with noise nuisance complaints.
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General noise from domestic, trade or industrial premises, can be dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Section 79 of the Act places a legal duty on local authorities to reasonably investigate all complaints of statutory nuisance, and to regularly inspect the borough for noise nuisances.
If a statutory nuisance is substantiated, then the local authority must serve a Noise Abatement Notice on the people responsible to effectively prohibit a recurrence. Failing to comply with a Noise Abatement Notice is an offence. Summary conviction will result in the offender receiving a criminal record and fines may also be imposed.
Late night noise from licensed premises
Late night noise from licensed premises (pubs, nightclubs, etc) can be dealt with under the provisions of the Noise Act 1996 (as amended by the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005). Warning notices and fixed penalty fines can be used by local authorities if noise from licensed premises breaches specified levels between the hours of 11pm and 7am.
Construction sites and loudspeakers in the street
Control of Pollution Act 1974 (loudspeakers in the street and noise from construction sites)
The inappropriate use of a loudspeaker in the street is a specific offence under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, incurring a fine on summary conviction. The Act also covers noise from construction sites, and enables local authorities to impose specific requirements on how construction work will be completed.
Traditionally, fireworks are commonly used on 5 November, but they are becoming more popular during celebrations throughout the year. We receive an increasing number of complaints about noise from fireworks and although they are fun, they can cause annoyance to residents and can distress pets and wildlife.
The Fireworks Regulations 2004 prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from possessing fireworks and anyone except professionals from possessing display fireworks in a public place. These Regulations prohibit the supply, purchase or possession of excessively loud fireworks (over 120 decibels).
In addition to this, these Regulations also prohibit the use of fireworks at night (11pm to 7am) in England and Wales. The Fireworks Regulations 2004 are enforced by Derbyshire Police and there is a penalty of up to £5,000 or six months in prison for breach of curfew.
Extensions to the curfew are allowed for the following festivals:
- until 1am on the night of the Chinese New Year
- until 1am on the night of Diwali
- until 1am on the night on New Year's Eve
- until midnight on 5 November
Ice cream chimes
The use of chimes on vehicles selling perishable foods is subject to a Code of Practice issued by the Department of the Environment. It specifies best practice in the use of chimes suggesting how long, and under what circumstances chimes may be used to avoid annoying nearby residents. The use of chimes is an offence outside the hours of 12 noon and 7pm under any circumstances.
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