What to do if you are experiencing a noise nuisance

First of all you should consider talking to the person responsible for the noise as sometimes they don't realise they're causing a problem.

If this doesn't work or you don’t feel able to talk to them and you live in Bolton, you can complete the nuisance pack (229KB). Please follow the instructions carefully. Your complaint will not be considered unless you complete and return the diary contained in the pack.

We will review the information you provide to see if there is likely to be a statutory nuisance and whether it is appropriate for us to investigate your complaint.

When is noise nuisance a statutory nuisance?

Noise nuisance is covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This law allows us to deal with noise from fixed premises. Before we can take any action can we have to be sure that the noise can be classed as a statutory nuisance. This means that we have to prove that the noise is prejudicial to health and/or is causing an unreasonable and persistent disturbance to your lifestyle.

The different types of noise pollution

Neighbourhood noise

In many cases, people making noise such as loud music are not aware that they are causing a problem and the issue can be sorted out quite quickly. Where this fails we can serve a notice on the person requiring them to stop the noise. If they do not comply then legal action can follow.

Commercial noise

This is often dealt with in the same way as neighbourhood noise.  Construction sites are a very common source of noise pollution. They are often in areas which were quiet beforehand and therefore the noise generated from them is very noticeable. In most cases, this is controlled by a restriction on working hours.

Aircraft noise

Aircraft noise is excluded from Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which means that we have no direct responsibility in relation to noise from aircraft.

Barking dogs

This is where a dog is either barking incessantly or constant barking is causing a nuisance at inappropriate times of the day. Again, where a direct approach to the owner fails we can serve a notice requiring them to stop the noise.

Pollution Control Unit

Ellesmere House

Mayor Street Depot

Ellesmere Street


BL3 5DT (Please note there is no visitor access at this address)

Telephone 01204 336500
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