Noise pollution

Noise and vibration from plant and machinery

The legislation that applies to noise from construction and demolition work is different to that used to control most other types of noise nuisance.

This is in recognition of the fact that a certain amount of noise, disruption and disturbance may be inevitable, particularly in respect of large projects.

The legislation which Environmental Health uses doesn't cover noise and vibration from lorries travelling to and from the site whilst they are on the public highway.

Complaints regarding accumulations of mud on the road from construction sites should be directed to the Council's Highways Section by ringing 0191 427 7000.

Judgment takes into account the impact the problem is having on the complainant, the intensity, cause, type, duration, time of day, noise background levels and whether the contractor is using the best practical means to minimise the impact the work is having on the neighbours.

Situations which may particularly require a greater degree of compromise include:

  • emergency works such as the making safe of dangerous structures or attending to gas leaks
  • certain road works such as resurfacing of major roads at night where daytime working would cause immeasurable traffic congestion
  • methods of working which significantly foreshorten or minimise disruption such as out of hours repairs to water or electric supplies serving a large number of premises

Where nuisance is established, initial action is to give informal advice. Should that not be heeded, formal Notices may be served specifying certain requirements

Notices may specify:

  • plant or machinery which may or may not be used
  • the hours during which work may be carried out
  • maximum noise levels which may be emitted
  • methods of working

However, the use of the best practical means available to carry out the work always has to be considered and if, under any given situation, those means are being employed, any continuing problems may well be incapable of resolution.