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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

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

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Report a noise complaint in Christchurch or East Dorset

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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?

Yes, but be aware that our action will be limited to writing to the alleged offender. We will not be able to take any enforcement action because the law requires us to assess the impact of noise on the complainant.

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. This helps us to investigate your complaint. You must return the log sheet within [x] weeks of the complaint or we will not proceed any further.

We will also write to the person or organisation you are complaining about to tell them a complaint has been made.

If the noise continues after they have received the letter, an officer will make reasonable attempts to witness the noise to gather evidence that a statutory nuisance exists. We can serve a notice for the noise to stop or be reduced.

If this is ignored we can prosecute. We can also obtain a warrant from a magistrate, where appropriate, to seize noise making equipment.

If the officer cannot find evidence of a nuisance, they will advise on how you can take action yourself in the Magistrate’s Court.

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