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Noise complaints

Before you make a complaint

You should first try to resolve the problem early on by talking to whoever is responsible for the noise, before going down the formal complaint route. The Problem Neighbours website has some useful advice on how to do this

Out of hours noise complaint

If you are reporting a noise complaint out of hours please contact us directly.

Report a noise complaint in North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset or Weymouth and Portland

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Report a noise complaint in East Dorset

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Report a noise complaint in Christchurch

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Complaints we deal with

You can report the following noise complaints to the council:

  • noisy neighbours (music, alarms, DIY at unreasonable hours)
  • noise from commercial premises (entertainment, ventilation systems, alarms)
  • noise from industrial premises (factories, construction, demolition, alarms)
  • car alarms or loud stereos (only if vehicle is parked)
  • nuisance barking

Noise from children playing and normal household noise are unlikely to amount to a statutory nuisance and therefore are not routinely investigated.

We do not deal with complaints involving domestic disputes - please contact the police in this instance.

Can I make an anonymous complaint?

The law requires us to assess the impact of noise on you in your own home. If we can not do this, we are unlikely to be able to proceed. Your details will remain confidential.

What happens after I make a complaint?

We will normally send you a log sheet to record details of the noise with dates and times of when it affects you. This helps us to investigate your complaint. You must return the log sheet within a defined period or we will not proceed any further.

We will usually write to the person or organisation you are complaining about to tell them a complaint has been made and may make a visit at this stage.

If the noise continues after they have received the letter, an officer will make reasonable attempts to witness the noise to gather evidence to determine whether formal enforcement action is appropriate.

If the officer cannot find evidence of a legal nuisance, they will advise on the options available to you.

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