Is it legal to have a party at home?
Is it legal to have a party on a business premise?
What about noise from machinery?
What about noise from a barbecue?
What about noise from vehicles?
What about aircraft noise?
Yes it's perfectly legal to have a party at home, but you must take all reasonable steps to ensure it doesn't cause nuisance to your neighbours. A single event of a party for a few hours is not usually enough to be a nuisance; it must be more than a single event and last for several hours. If the neighbours home is affected by loud noise you must stop it as soon as possible.
Merely being able to hear a noise is not enough, it must actually affect you at home before we can consider action. When we consider noise the time of day that it happens makes a big difference to our response.
Think, would you be happy if someone else was doing the same thing to you, if the answer is no then you probably should be turning the volume down and/or using the equipment less often.
Environmental Health legislation means that parties in trade premises must not cause noise nuisance. The premises you use may also be subject to conditions in their public entertainment licence or planning consent. This means it is possible to have a private party in commercial premises, as long as it does not annoy any neighbours of the pub or club in question.
Other agencies also regulate commercial premises such as pubs and clubs, contact us if you would like further guidance.
Used in a house
Noise from DIY or a hobby at home must not cause nuisance to your neighbours. The occasional bit of work to put shelves up or hang pictures or decorate is not sufficient to be a nuisance. The noise must be reasonably frequent and sufficient to affect the way you live at home.
Generally noise from DIY during weekdays or Saturday will be viewed less seriously than noise in an evening or on Sundays. If you are planning to undertake a major building project, such as refurbishing a house or adding a significant extension yourself think about the noise aspect first. If you can only work on the project evenings and weekends, your neighbours may object and if statutory nuisance is substantiated the Council can stop you working outside normal working hours. It may be worth employing a contractor to undertake the major and noisy aspects of construction so that these are done during normal working hours.
From a business
Business premises have a defence against noise nuisance if they are doing all that they reasonable can do to prevent the nuisance. This should not stop your inquiring about the noise and asking if anything can be done to make the noise less. On many occasions it is possible to reduce the noise from machinery or equipment and our officers can give advice on how this can be achieved.
It is unlikely however that if noise from a commercial machine causes you a problem that we will be able to make it so that the machine cannot be heard at all. Some modifications can be undertaken cheaply and provide a large noise reduction, in other cases large expenditure is needed for a small improvement.
Noise problems from businesses in this area are usually related to ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, if you are about to have one of these installed please contact us for advice first. It can be very expensive to remedy noise from air conditioning and refrigeration plant after it is installed and relatively cheap to get it right before the plant is installed.
This is unlikely to ever be sufficient to be a nuisance, simply because it is part of a reasonable normal daily life at home. A barbecue once or twice a week and the use of a patio heater burning clean wood, would not be enough to consider action by the council. If the barbecue events you hold at home are noisy, or very frequent, then action to reduce the frequency and noise that you make may be possible.
Currently Local Authorities have no powers over noise from vehicles. Vehicles are inspected once a year for noise as part of the MOT test from the exhaust. You can report noisy vehicles to the local Police on 0845 6070999.
Noise from road traffic in general is not a matter over which any authority has any great control. East Sussex County Council (external link) may be able to assist in reducing road traffic noise by using porous road surfaces, when the road is resurfaced, or simply by repairing pot holes where these are the source of the noise.
In recent years the European Union and the UK government in turn have imposed restrictions on noise from road vehicles. These reductions in noise from lorries and cars are being felt in reductions in traffic noise levels and the benefit will grow as older vehicles are taken off the road and replaced with newer quieter vehicles.
Should you have a serious problem with road traffic noise please contactEast Sussex County Council (external link)to determine if there are plans to repair or resurface the road.
Local authorities do not control aircraft noise and if you are affected in your home or workplace you may find that BAA can help. They are one of the world's leading airport companies and own and operate seven UK airports. Reports of noise should be emailed to the address below. BAA will require a time and a postcode where the noise was witnessed to assist their investigations. For more information visit the BAA Noise webpage (external link).
If you require any further information contact:
Flight Evaluation Unit
Room 757, South Roof Office Block
Telephone: 0800 393 070 (24 hours - UK only)