If a statutory nuisance exists
If you make a complaint about noise and we determine that a statutory nuisance exists, we will serve an abatement notice on the person responsible. The person responsible must ensure that the noise nuisance stops. If the person responsible is likely to stop the noise nuisance voluntarily – we may defer serving the abatement notice for up to seven days. Anyone who does not comply with the requirements of an abatement notice may be prosecuted in the magistrates court and be liable, subject to conviction, for a maximum fine of £5,000 (or £20,000 if the responsible party is a company).
Those who receive a notice have the right of appeal to the magistrates court within 21 days of receiving the notice. At an appeal hearing the magistrate will listen to the evidence justifying our action. If you have made the complaint you are likely to be asked to provide a witness statement in and, if necessary, appear in court to explain how the noise impacts on the use and enjoyment of your property.
If the appeal is successful the magistrate may vary the requirements of the notice or withdraw it completely. If the appeal is unsuccessful the notice remains in force.
Where the noise continues
If the noise continues after we serve the notice, we must gather evidence to prove that the notice is being breached. You will be asked to continue keeping your noise diary and officers will attempt to witness the noise through visits and use of the recording equipment. We consider each contravention in the context of our Enforcement Policy and will decide the appropriate enforcement option. This may be issuing a simple caution, seizure of noise making equipment, prosecution in the magistrates court or a combination of these measures. If the issue goes to court you will be asked to support us by providing a witness statement and, if necessary, to appear in court.
Council or housing association tenants
If the person responsible for the noise is a tenant of ours or of a housing association, you may wish to contact our Housing team or the association directly as they may be able to take action themselves. Any evidence we gather may also be used by the Housing authority to start possession proceedings against the person responsible for the noise.