How to make a complaint about noise

To make a complaint about noise, please contact environmental@stalbans.gov.uk, 01727 819406 during normal office hours.

On Friday and Saturday nights we operate an out-of-hours noise patrol service, which deals with non-domestic noise complaints.  You can contact the duty team on 01727 811155 between 6pm and 3am.

The Council also operates a Licensing Hotline to report complaints about Licensed Premises (pubs, clubs, restaurants etc.,) out of hours. The number is 07770 701720.

Domestic noise

Most complaints that we get are about noise from domestic sources. The main problem is usually noise from music stereo systems, television, barking dogs and DIY activity.

If at all possible it is best to discuss the complaint with your neighbour to try and resolve the problem amicably.

First approach your neighbour and explain politely that you are being troubled by the noise. It is best not to do this in the heat of the moment.  It is better to wait until you are composed and able to explain how you are affected by the noise clearly and calmly.

Discussing the problem with your neighbours may be difficult.  However, they will often be unaware that they are causing a nuisance and will be happy to do what they can to reduce the noise.  Inviting your neighbour into your house to listen to the noise can be an effective way of helping them to understand the problem.

If your neighbour continues to cause a nuisance you can contact us and make a formal complaint.

You will be asked to keep a record sheet over a 14 day period to record the dates, times, duration and type of noise that you find a nuisance. We will use this information as the basis for further action.

Please note that you are required to inform a purchaser of complaints if and when you sell your house.

There are some useful information and resources at the links below.

Transport noise

The Council does not have powers to deal with transport noise from road, air or railways. Complaints about noise from aircraft flying to or from London Luton Airport should be made to Luton’s Airfield Environment Office (noise@ltn.aero; 01582 395382).  They also have an online complaint form 

Entertainment and leisure noise (including pubs, clubs, restaurants, etc)

For information on making a complaint about noise from a pub or other licensed premises, see the details at the top of this page.

If you have a noise complaint regarding a licensed premises and a statutory nuisance is confirmed, an abatement notice can be served to stop or restrict the noise. 

Industrial and commercial noise

The operation of industrial and commercial processes such as extractor fans and ducting, or even opening windows and doors, can lead to noise nuisance. We can investigate complaints about such noise.

Construction noise

Residents generally understand that there will be some noise when construction is underway.  The issues tend to be if work starts early, finishes late or takes place on Saturday afternoon, Sundays or Bank Holidays. We can investigate complaints of this nature.

Audible intruder alarms

Audible intruder alarms in houses, commercial premises and vehicles can cause a considerable short term nuisance to a large number of residents.

Problems most often occur when the householder is on holiday. A little more forethought by the householder can prevent a considerable nuisance to neighbours. 

Where an intruder alarm is installed, the householder should provide the Environmental Health team with the names and phone numbers of two people who have keys to the house/office and who can be contacted in case the alarm sounds. Such key holders should be able to visit the house to switch the alarm off quickly. You can contact the team at environmental@stalbans.gov.uk, 01727 819406.

We can serve an abatement notice requiring the noise nuisance to stop and if necessary enter the building or car to disconnect the alarm. The costs associated with this work are charged back to the householder or car owner.

You can download a leaflet on intruder alarms below.



Date of last review: 04 February 2015