The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 gives powers to the Council to investigate noise which is giving rise to complaint. Where such noise amounts to a Statutory Nuisance the Council has the power to serve an Abatement Notice on the Person Responsible or the Owner or the Occupier. Breach of this Notice is an offence and for domestic premises the maximum fine in a Magistrates Court for breaching a Notice is £5,000.
Council will investigate noise complaints which may be emanating from domestic, commercial, entertainment and industrial premises. However council does not investigate anonymous complaints.
The Health, Housing & Public Convenience Team investigates noise sources arising from domestic properties including:
- Barking Dogs
- House Alarms
Noise complaints in relation to domestic noise sources can be reported to health&[email protected] or by telephoning the Health, Housing & Public Conveniences Team on 02871253253.
Noise sources arising from commercial and industrial sources are investigated by the Environment & Neighbourhoods Team, including:
- Construction Site Noise
- Entertainment Noise
- Wind Farms
- Street Performers
See advice for anyone wishing to carry out construction works. Download here.
All dogs bark, but loud or persistent barking and whining can cause a nuisance and lead to problems relaxing or sleeping, especially if you have a baby or young children. If you’re having problems with a barking dog, speak to the owner first before making a formal complaint. The problem may be caused by a dog 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 contact us and we will log your complaint and instigate an investigation. This includes writing to your neighbour to advise them that we are investigating the noise.
We may also ask you to keep a record of the dates and times of each disturbance. This helps our officers to work out the best time to visit to witness the noise, which is important, as this evidence may be needed if legal action is required. We may also arrange to have recording equipment left at your house.
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011, we can serve a Noise Abatement Notice on the person responsible if we feel the noise is a nuisance. This gives the person a time limit to reduce the noise but, if it continues, they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.
Additional advice is contained in these Barking Dogs Leaflet and Responsible Dog Ownership Leaflet
House alarms are an effective way of protecting properties only if they are installed and maintained properly. However, misfiring alarms can be annoying to neighbours, especially when the occupiers are not at the property and the alarm rings for prolonged periods.
With the introduction of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 we have additional powers to deal with noisy alarms. If the prolonged ringing of an alarm is causing a noise nuisance, the Council may take legal action to resolve the disturbance and prevent it recurring. You are required by law to reimburse the Council for the cost of any action taken to silence the alarm and you may also be prosecuted for causing a nuisance.
To avoid causing a noise nuisance alarm owners must ensure that alarms are kept in good working order.
Recording Noise Nuisance & the Noise App
The noise app can be used to record noise nuisance every time there is a problem. This helps us to tackle the problem particularly if we need the evidence to go to court, but it is also very useful to help us show neighbours how they are causing people a problem. This is normally all we need to do to address the problem. The other thing the noise app can do is allow you to record problems as they happen and helps to create your diary sheets. We can then look at the records you have made by accessing a secure website without you having to send them to us by other means. Additional information in relation to the NoiseApp is available from the NoiseApp website at https://www.thenoiseapp.com/#/ and through the explanantory videos below.
The Noise App Introduction video can be viewed here:
The Noise App Walkthrough video can also be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40hokkxnIrA
Download the app
To download the app go to the 'App Store' for iPhone users or the 'Play Store' for Android users. Search for 'The Noise App' and click 'Get' or 'Install' to download the app.
- Open the app and click on Create an Account.
- Fill in the details and select Derry City & Strabane District Council.
- Agree to the terms of service and click Create Account.
- An email will be sent to your email address asking you to confirm your account.
- Once your account has been confirmed log in to the app on your phone.
- This will prompt you to enter your address and complete the registration process.
Once your account has been confirmed you can then begin submitting recordings.
Submitting a noise recording
After logging in for the first time you will be prompted to make a recording. To start recording press and hold the microphone icon button at the bottom of the screen. You don’t have to record the whole event, just a representative snapshot of the noise as it is happening. You can record up to 30 seconds and if you need to, you can make several recordings each one 30 seconds.
Whilst recording you will see a wave form along with a timer that moves across the screen.
When you remove your finger or thumb the app stops recording. You can then accept, reject or playback the recording. Once accepted, you will then be prompted to provide more general information about the noise you are experiencing.
- Select the source
First, what type of noise is it? Scroll and choose a source from the list provided
- Select the location
Next, where did you record the noise? Choose an area of your property from the list provided and move to the next screen.
- Intensity and commentary
You are then asked to rate the noise in terms of how loud you consider it is. Underneath you may add a comment as to how the noise is affecting you, for example, you might state “the noise woke me up and is preventing me from getting back to sleep”. This information about how the noise affects you is very important so please try to add as much information as possible.
Lastly, enter the address of the noise source. Please ensure you check the address is correct if you use the Google maps GPS function.
If you are happy with the information presented on the confirmation screen press the 'send report button'. Your recording will then be placed into your diary. This may then be reviewed by your service provider.
- Report Sent
You will receive a confirmation message saying that your entry has been sent.
- Noise Diary
Your first entry will populate your noise diary and will appear at the top of the screen with all your previous recordings listed below.
The symbols on the left change colour according to whether your entry has been reviewed by you, us or not viewed.
Your Noise Diary
When you next log on you will be taken to your noise diary. Continue to make recordings and entries for as long as the problem continues.
Select any entry in the diary and you will access two screens: 'detail' and 'activity'. You can switch between the detail and activity screens using the tabs at the top. The detail screen (on the left) provides a summary of the information relating to the particular diary entry you selected. In the activity screen you will see a summary of activity related to that entry by you and the investigating officer.
You can also add text using the comments box at the bottom. This is useful for adding additional information after the event, for example, how long the noise continued for.
For further information please contact the Health, Housing and Public Conveniences Team
T: 028 71253253
E: health&[email protected]