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Noise Nuisance

Excessive noise from neighbours can be frustrating, and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry.

We receive many complaints each year from members of the public about noise from loud music, barking dogs, shouting, DIY, house and car alarm noise, as well as from commercial premises.

Everyday living gives rise to noise from time to time, and it is normal to hear some from your neighbours. Sometimes this noise goes beyond what may be considered reasonable or considerate, and may cause what is called 'statutory nuisance'.

We have powers to investigate and deal with statutory noise nuisance, and this page gives more details on the types of noise, and how to make a complaint to us.

On this page:

Types of noise

We can help with:

  • neighbourhood noise (such as loud music)
  • household intruder alarms and car alarms
  • commercial noise (such as noisy machinery, pubs and clubs)
  • barking dogs and other noisy animals

We are unable to help with noise from day to day activities, unless they are prolonged and happening at unreasonable times (for example, in the middle of the night so as to disturb sleep).

Day-to-day activities include:

  • flushing toilets
  • children playing
  • washing machines and vacuum cleaners
  • lawnmowers
  • doors and cupboards closing

We are unable to investigate noise from aircraft or road traffic.

Make a complaint

To maintain good neighbour relations, we encourage you to discuss the matter with your neighbour in the first instance as they may not be aware that there is a problem. Often this resolves the majority of complaints. If this is unsuccessful, you can make a complaint about noise using the form below.

Alternatively, you can contact us by email: to make a complaint.

In all cases we will require the following information:

  • your name, address, email address and telephone number (unfortunately, we are unable to investigate anonymous complaints)
  • the address of the alleged source of the noise
  • detailed information on how, when and where it affects you

To be a nuisance, noise must be causing substantial and unreasonable interference in your home. As a result we are unlikely to be able to deal with a one-off situation in a formal way unless the noise is exceptionally loud and is affecting many households.

As part of the investigation, we require the completion of a diary sheet, which will be sent out to you.

If we are unable to resolve the matter informally, you may also be required to give evidence in the Magistrates Court.

Car alarms

We have the power to break into a car in the street and disable the alarm if it is sounding excessively. We will need to obtain a warrant if the car is on private property. This may take several hours to resolve, depending on individual circumstances.

As part of your complaint notification, please provide:

  • details of the car, including registration number, colour and make
  • the location of the vehicle
  • how long the alarm has been sounding
  • how the noise is affecting you
  • details of the owner or driver if known

Outside office hours, contact the Hampshire Police non-emergency number: 101

House intruder alarms

We have the power to take steps to silence a misfiring house intruder alarm, if the alarm:

  • has been sounding for more than 20 minutes continually or one hour intermittently
  • is causing a likely annoyance to those in the vicinity

We can silence the alarm from outside the property or, if we can obtain a warrant, enter the property and silence the alarm. The cost of such actions will be reclaimed from the alarm's owner. Silencing an alarm may take several hours to resolve, depending on individual circumstances.

If you wish to make a complaint, we will require:

  • the address of house where the alarm is misfiring
  • how long the alarm has been sounding
  • the name and location of the occupier if known
  • keyholder details if known
  • identification markings, for example the telephone number on the alarm box

Noise from business premises

You may wish to complain about noise from a business or commercial premises.

A business' hours of operation may be restricted by conditions on their Planning Permission. If they have unrestricted hours of use, we will investigate your complaint, and may be able to restrict the hours or reduce their noise.

The law relating to noise from business premises is slightly different from domestic premises as, in some circumstances, the business can defend itself in court by showing that they are using the 'Best Practicable Means' to prevent the nuisance.

Noise from pubs and licensed premises is a common cause for complaint. The sources of noise from licensed premises which typically result in complaints include music, customers, equipment, deliveries, and events. To assist those managing such premises, we have produced a licensed premises noise management guide (PDF) [12MB] .

Barking dogs

The investigation of a barking dog complaint will be similar to that for general noise. 

If you are concerned about your own dog barking, contact our Dog Wardens by phone on 023 8028 5411. For advice on how to stop your dog barking, visit the Blue Cross website.


The Fireworks Regulations 2004 created a curfew on the use of fireworks, and makes it is an offence to let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, with these exceptions:

  • 5 November (between midnight and 7am)
  • New Year's Eve (between 1am and 7am)
  • Chinese New Year (between 1am and 7am)
  • Diwali Night (between 1am and 7am)

If fireworks cause a problem outside the above hours, contact the Hampshire Police on the non-emergency number: 101

It is a criminal offence to throw or discharge a firework in a street or public place. Further information on police enforcement can be found on the Ask the Police website.

Pets are frightened of fireworks and should always be kept indoors during local firework displays. Further information on fireworks and pets can be found on the Blue Cross website.

Retailers selling fireworks must be registered with Hampshire Trading Standards, which investigates problems with unsafe products.

Contact us


Phone: 02380 285411

Monday to Thursday: 8.45am to 5.15pm  |  Fridays: 8.45am to 4.45pm

Environmental Health (Protection), Appletree Court, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, SO43 7PA

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