Noise complaints are investigated under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011. This legislation enables the Council to deal with a noise disturbance if they think it is causing a nuisance to a person, or people living nearby.
There is no specific level of noise that constitutes a noise nuisance. When considering whether or not a noise nuisance exists, the Council will consider the loudness of the noise, when the noise occurs, how often the noise occurs, the effect on the person affected by the noise and the likely reaction of the average person to the noise. If the Council is satisfied that a noise nuisance exists, they will serve a Noise Abatement notice on the person responsible for making the noise, requesting them to minimise it. Non-compliance with the noise abatement notice can result in formal action in the magistrate's court.
Noise is very subjective i.e. something which annoys one person may be hardly noticed by another person e.g. loud music during the day may disturb someone who works a night shift and is trying to sleep, but may not cause disturbance to others. Similarly, a barking dog at night may not annoy its owner but may cause great disturbance to the neighbours.
How Do I Report a Noise Complaint?
Contact the Environmental Health Service at Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council if the problem relates to a noise nuisance in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area. We can be contacted in writing, by telephone or e-mail at:
Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council
Environmental Health Service
Carnmoney Road North
Tel: 028 90 34 0000
Web: Report a Problem Online...
Anonymous complaints will not be formally investigated.
What Happens When I Make a Noise Complaint?
The first course of action will be to try and deal with the problem informally. The Council will contact the person responsible for causing the noise and give them advice of how to prevent or limit the noise problem. If this approach is unsuccessful, the Council will proceed with a formal investigation
What Noise Problems Does the Council Investigate?
The Council will investigate complaints about the following noise sources:
- Domestic Noise
Common complaints include barking dogs, loud music and DIY work. If you are concerned about the noise levels from a neighbouring property, the best course of action is normally to approach the neighbour about the problem. They may not be aware that they are causing a disturbance and will then take steps to remove or reduce the noise problem.
- Industrial /Commercial Noise
Noise levels from industrial and commercial premises should be controlled at a suitable level so as not to cause a nuisance to others. Businesses should take reasonable and practical steps to reduce noise levels to a minimum.
- Construction Noise
Occasionally construction site noise can cause a nuisance for neighbouring householders and/or businesses. If a noise nuisance does occur, Environmental Health Officers can restrict the use of certain equipment, the hours of operation and if necessary set noise limits for the construction work.
- Public Entertainment Noise
Domestic premises close to a public entertainment venue can sometimes be disturbed by noise nuisance arising from the music within the premises and/or the patrons entering and leaving the premises. The Entertainments licence of the venue will specify conditions to ensure that unreasonable disturbance is not caused to nearby residents. Non-compliance with these conditions could result in the licence being removed.
The Environmental Health Department will also investigate a range of other noise complaints including audible intruder alarms, off road scrambling, ice-cream chimes, and bird scarers.