The Council has powers to deal with certain types of noise. In order for us to take action, the noise must class as a statutory nuisance.
Statutory nuisance is more than just annoyance and will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of anyone affected. Some people may find a noise annoying, but it might not be a statutory nuisance in the eyes of the law.
Factors considered when assessing statutory nuisance include:
Duration and frequency of the noise
Time of day
Type of area
Report a noise nuisance
It is often better to try to resolve problems by speaking to the person who is causing the noise disturbance, if this is possible without putting your safety at risk. The introduction of a third party such as the Council may inflame the situation rather than resolve it.
If you feel you are unable to approach the person causing the problem you could use mediation to try to resolve the issue. The Guildford Mediation Service is a free, impartial and confidential service, which helps neighbours to resolve conflicts.
If the situation does not improve, you can report the noise nuisance using our online form.
Noise complaints we can investigate:
Construction site noise
Noise from commercial premises
Noise from pubs and clubs
Noise we do not have the power to deal with:
Children playing inside or outside
Complaints where the noise is a problem because the complainant is "sensitive" due to personal/medical reasons
General domestic/living noises
Noise transmitted by poor sound insulation
Noisy behaviour in public places
Noise from works e.g. road works due to gas/electric/water or works to the railway at night
Investigating your noise complaint
You will be asked to keep a record of dates, times and how the noise affects you, covering at least a two week period.
An officer will assess your noise record information to determine if the problem requires further action. If we do not receive your record within 30 days of the complaint, the case will be closed.
If the noise is a potential statutory nuisance, we will write to the person responsible. If this resolves the matter and you do not report further incidents within 30 days, the case will be closed.
If the noise disturbance continues
We will arrange for the noise to be witnessed. This may include the use of noise monitoring equipment.
If a statutory nuisance is established the Council will issue a notice requiring the person responsible for the noise to stop.
If the noise nuisance continues and evidence is sufficient, we can take the offender to court for not complying with the notice.
You may also be able to undertake your own private legal action.