Industrial and Commercial Nuisance
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 of a business or commercial premises. Breach of this Notice is an offence and for commercial premises the maximum fine for breaching a Notice is £20,000.
You can report industrial and commercial noise to us. We will investigate noise coming from:
Smoke, fumes and smells coming from:
What the council cannot investigate
Traffic noise (including essential maintenance) - see Transport NI
Railway noise (including essential maintenance) - see Translink
Airport or aircraft noise – see City of Derry Airport
Road vehicle noise (exhausts) – see PSNI
We cannot investigate anonymous complaints as the law requires us to assess the impact that noise is having on the person who has complained, therefore anonymous complaints limits the enforcement action we can take. However, if you do wish to make a complaint anonymously we will still record the complaint.
What you can do
Before you contact us, we would advise you to discuss the nuisance issue early on with the persons/business responsible.
Often they simply do not realise they are causing a problem and the issue may be resolved quickly once they know.
However, if the problem continues, you can report it to us.
What we will do
We will contact the person/business to make them aware that a complaint has been raised and ask them to resolve the issue.
If this is unsuccessful, we may need to carry out noise monitoring which will require access to your property and you will be asked to keep records of how you are affected by the noise.
The investigating officer will then determine whether a statutory nuisance exists, or whether the business have demonstrated best practicable means.
If it is confirmed that a statutory nuisance exists, we have various legal powers to resolve the problem. This may include noise monitoring, serving enforcement notices on the person responsible for the noise nuisance, seizing equipment, and in some cases prosecution.
Taking your own action
If the council has investigated and cannot establish that a nuisance exists you can take your own action to the local Magistrates' court.