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Nuisance from building sites

A certain amount of noise and other inconvenience is to be expected from building sites but construction companies have to abide by agreements to minimise this wherever possible.

As sites are not permanent, the law is much more tolerant of noise produced. It is not usually considered a nuisance unless bad practice leads to unnecessary noise that affects a person’s enjoyment of his or her property. A lot will depend on the nature of the noise, its intrusiveness and the time of day. Often, local residents will be warned of possible problems.

If you have a complaint, you should first contact the construction company.

The information below is best practice and should be followed wherever possible.


Where the site is adjacent to residential or business premises, heavy plant, noisy equipment or operations and deliveries should not take place outside the hours of;

  • Monday-Friday 7.30-18.00
  • Saturday 8.00-13.00
  • Sundays/Bank Holidays – no noisy activity

If there is going to be any unavoidable late night or early morning working, neighbouring homes should be advised. Construction companies should notify us before beginning such work.

All plant and equipment should be suitably chosen, sited, operated and serviced so as to minimise noise, vibration, fumes and dust. Best practical means should be employed to minimise potential nuisance to neighbouring properties. All plants should be turned off when not in use.

Pneumatic tools should be fitted with an integral silencer or purpose-made muffler, which is maintained in good repair.

Radio noise should not be audible at the boundary of the nearest neighbouring property.

Other problems

In periods of dry weather, dust control measures should be employed including wheel washing and damping down. Any stockpiles of materials which are likely to give rise to windblown dust shall be sheeted, wetted or located to minimise any potential nuisance.

Where the site is adjacent to residential or business premises, bonfires should be avoided and all waste materials should be removed from the site and suitably disposed of. At no time should any material that is likely to produce dark/black smoke be burnt – for example plastics, rubber, treated wood, bitumen etc.

Any temporary oil storage tanks should be safely and securely sited to prevent pollution if there are any spills or leakages. It is also strongly recommended that any oil storage tank should be surrounded by an impervious oil/watertight bund with a capacity of at least 110% of the tank.

Any existing buildings on site should be checked for asbestos materials before demolition. Any asbestos must be removed in full consultation with the Health and Safety Executive.

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