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Other types of noise

  • Barking dogs and other animals
  • Alarms
  • DIY
  • Construction
  • Commercial and industrial
  • Pubs bars and clubs
  • Vehicles, machinery or equipment

Barking dogs and other animals

Most of the complaints we receive about noisy animals relate to barking dogs.

If you're having problems with a barking dog, please speak to the owner first before making a formal complaint. The dog may be being left on its own for long periods of time, so your neighbour may not be aware of the problem.

If this doesn't help, call us on 028 9037 3006 and we can arrange for our dog wardens to give advice to the owner.

If they can't reduce the frequency and level of the barking, we'll conduct a formal investigation into your complaint.

This includes writing to your neighbour to advise them that we are investigating the noise.

We may also ask you to keep a diary recording the dates and times of each disturbance. This helps our officers work out the best time to hear the noise, as well as gather important evidence if legal action is required.

If we feel the noise is a nuisance we can serve the owner with a Noise Abatement Notice. This gives the owner a time limit to reduce the noise but, if it continues, they could face prosecution and a fine.

Alarms

We can silence the alarm, and recover the costs from the alarm owner, if:

  • it has been sounding for more than 20 minutes continuously or intermittently for more than one hour
  • it is causing reasonable annoyance to those living or working nearby, or 
  • a keyholder for the property can't be contacted.

To register key-holder details, visit our register key-holder page.

DIY

If you feel your neighbour is carrying out excessive drilling or hammering or is working at unreasonable hours; call us for advice.

Construction

Construction works are inherently noisy, and builders or contractors should use best practicable means to minimise noise disturbance.

In residential areas the priority is for residents to be able to sleep at night. In general therefore noisy works should be carried out during the day.

If you are a builder or contractor please read our advice for construction and demolition sites, including advice on hours of operation and noise targets

Road works are given permission by the Roads Service to work at night to minimise disruption to traffic and pedestrians. However, we may also impose restrictions on the times road works can be carried out. Contractors are expected to make every effort to minimise the nuisance they may cause to local residents 

Information about planned and ongoing road works is available from www.trafficwatchni.com or by calling the Roads Service (Belfast Division) on 028 9025 3000.

Commercial and industrial

This includes noise caused by heavy machinery, air conditioning units or delivery vehicles. We can assess the noise or ask you to keep a diary recording the dates and times of each disturbance. If we are satisfied that it's causing a nuisance, we can issue the business owner with a Noise Abatement Notice. This gives the owner a time limit to reduce the noise but, if it continues, they could face prosecution.

Pubs, bars and clubs

Residents have the right to object to an entertainment licence being granted or renewed if they are being unreasonably disturbed by music from the premises or noise from patrons attending it.

If a premises is making excessive noise we can take action under the Noise Act 1996 as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 .We may serve a Warning Notice after 11pm if excessive noise is witnessed.

If the person responsible doesn't comply with the warning notice, we'll take noise measurements inside your house. If our levels show that the legal limit for night-time notice has been breached, we can issue a fine of £500 or they could face prosecution in the courts.

Vehicles, machinery and equipment

We can issue an abatement notice on the person responsible, giving a time frame to reduce or stop the noise.
Anyone causing noise nuisance through any vehicle, machinery and equipment in the street can be fined up to £5,000. If it is an industrial trade or business premises the fine can be up to £20,000.

General traffic noise from vehicles travelling on roads is not covered by this legislation.

We have no legal power to deal with complaints about noise caused by civil or military aircrafts. This includes noise from flights in and out of George Best Belfast City Airport and any military planes, helicopters and other low-flying aircraft.

Complaints can be made to the following organisations:
  • Noise complaint line (George Best Belfast City Airport) - 028 9093 5020 or www.belfastcityairport.com
  • Ports and Public Transport Division (Department for Regional Development) - 028 9054 0540
  • Civil Aviation Authority - 012 9357 3270 or www.caa.co.uk

Contact us
Noise control
028 9037 3006
Environmental Protection Unit
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP