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The aim of the Noise Team is to reduce as far as possible the impact of noise on the community, to investigate complaints of noise and generally to provide people with the opportunity of quiet enjoyment of their property.

Noise can disrupt our lives by causing:

  • Annoyance and stress
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Interference with communication
  • Inability of children to concentrate, affecting learning
  • High levels can damage hearing and cause hearing loss

 Complaints of noise are divided broadly into three types:

  • From commercial and industrial sources
  • Noise in the neighbourhood
  • Barking dogs

 Noise from Industrial and Commercial Premises

 We approach noise from industrial and commercial premises in several ways by:

  • Commenting on planning and public entertainment licences applications
  • Recommending conditions when appropriate, to avoid noise problems being caused
  • Investigating complaints about noise
  • Advising on preventative measures
  • Taking enforcement action where necessary.

Neighbourhood Noise 

We receive many complaints about neighbourhood noise, in particular:

  • Loud music
  • Television and radio
  • Noisy parties
  • DIY
  • Loud voices or shouting
  • Heavy footsteps

Before contacting the council, try talking to your neighbours first to resolve any problems.

Collecting evidence is crucial to success in solving a problem, especially if legal action becomes necessary.

Barking Dogs 

Of all the neighbour noise complaints we receive, barking dogs are the most numerous - approximately 30% of all noise complaints.

In view of this we have a policy on how to deal with this type of complaint.

  • We need the exact address of where the noise is coming from.
  • We write to you enclosing a log sheet on which you can record details of the noise and when it occurs.
  • On receipt of a completed log sheet we conduct a thorough investigation.
  • If possible, we will make monitoring visits to confirm for ourselves the extent of the problem.
  • We may install monitoring equipment to record what is going on.

If the investigation confirms that we can take action, an abatement notice will be served. The recipient can appeal against the notice.

Failure to comply with an abatement notice will result in a prosecution.

If we have no grounds for formal action, we will tell you and advise you how to start a private action in court.

You can get further information about the problems of barking dogs from the leaflet Is Your Dog Barking Too Much? 

Noise and anti-social behaviour

Noise is one of the most common features of anti-social behaviour (ASB). Where noise is considered to be so significant that it constitutes ASB in itself, or is part of a wider pattern of ASB, then Environmental Health will work in partnership to help tackle the ASB. Environmental Health are part of the wider coordinated effort to prevent ASB and work closely with the council's ASB team, Merseyside Police and other partners including registered social landlords and private landlords to tackle noise ASB. You can read more about work on reducing anti-social behaviour on the Safer St Helens website.

If you have any queries or a complaint about noise, please contact the Environmental Health section:

Phone: 01744 676299
Email: environmentalhealth@sthelens.gov.uk

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