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Construction Works - Noise, Dust and Smoke

Information for companies and individuals undertaking building works within New Forest District Council

Environmental Health (Environmental Protection), Appletree Court, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7PA. Tel - 023 8028 5411 - option 2; Email -

Are there any hours that builders should stick to?

We understand that building works will generate a certain amount of noise; however, this should be kept to a minimum. This can be achieved by restricting the hours of building works and ensuring that the most appropriate equipment and quieter methods of construction are being used.

On occasions, a development may have planning conditions attached that control the hours of construction activity; however, regardless of any planning conditions, a construction activity should conform to the points shown below which are considered good practice guidelines and have regard to Section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974:

1. The site may operate between the hours of 07:00 and 19:00 Monday to Friday, and between the hours of 07:00 and 13:00 on Saturday; however, see point 2 below;

2. Powered plant, machinery or power tools may only be used between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday and between the hours of 08:00 and 13:00 on Saturday;

3. The site shall not operate at all on Sunday and Public Holidays;

4. Best practicable means (BPM) to reduce noise to a minimum shall be employed at all times; and

5. All plant and machinery in use shall be properly silenced and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Tighter controls may be placed on extremely noisy building works e.g. Piling operations or in very noise sensitive locations.

Subject to certain Health and Safety, emergency, operational and/or Police requirements, the above times may vary.

Please contact us if you are unreasonably disturbed by noise from a construction activity.

Are there any other controls concerning builders?

Builders should avoid causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties or public areas from dust, and should therefore take adequate dust control. Such measure can include reducing dust at source, damping down and screening.

Can builders have a bonfire?

Not unless a person/building company has a D7 Exemption (regulated by the Environment Agency. You can search whether a company holds one by looking at the Environment Agency Public Register which allows the burning in the open of green waste, sawdust, shavings or cuttings from untreated wood, so long as they originate on the site where they are being burnt. Any other waste derived from a commercial activity cannot be burnt on site and must be disposed of through a licensed contractor/waste handler.

Burning waste on a commercial site i.e. building site, without a D7 Exemption or not in compliance with the exemption, is an offence with an unlimited fine upon conviction.

If you suspect waste other than that detailed above, is being burnt; you should contact Customer Services on 023 8028 5000.

There is also a further offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 where bonfires (subject to certain exemptions) cause dark or black smoke on an industrial or commercial premises, with an unlimited fine upon conviction.

 There is more information about Bonfires on our page Nuisance from Bonfires.

Should there be a problem with noise, dust or smoke from a building site then please contact us via the details at the top of the page.

Other useful links

Nuisance from Bonfires


Updated: 11 Jul 2017
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