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Durham County Council

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Noise complaints

We are responsible for dealing with some noise complaints that are classed as a 'statutory nuisance'. If the noise is causing a statutory nuisance, we will try to resolve the matter informally. However, if this approach fails, we have the legal powers to serve an abatement notice requiring the nuisance to stop.

There are a number of different noise sources that can cause a nuisance:

  • barking dogs
  • amplified music
  • industrial and commercial premises
  • construction and demolition sites 
  • public entertainment from licensed premises

There are certain types of noise where we have no legal powers to act:, including  noise from aircraft, trains and road traffic.

Informal approach

We will investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve the complaint informally. 

Legal approach

If an informal approach doesn't work, we can serve a notice to the person causing the noise, telling them to stop. If they don't, legal action may be taken. If it involves a licensed premises, we will check that all licence conditions are being followed.

To help with the investigation, you will be issued with log/diary sheets so that you can provide us with the following information:

  • the date and time the noise occurs 
  • a description of the noise
  • a description of how the noise affects your quality of life  


If the person receiving the notice appeals, you may be required to appear at court and give evidence.