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Domestic Noise

Domestic Noise

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
  • Music/TV/Parties
  • DIY
  • 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
  • Industrial/Commercial
  • Manufacturers
  • Wind Farms
  • Agriculture
  • Street Performers

See advice for anyone wishing to carry out construction works.  

Noise from Construction & Demolition Sites 

Construction and demolition works are usually noisy and can take place in areas that are normally quiet. Find out how to prevent and report instances of construction noise pollution.

Common complaints about construction and demolition sites relate to the hours of working. Work should normally take place only between these hours: 

Monday - Friday: 8am - 6pm 
Saturday: 8am - 1pm 
Sunday and bank holidays: no work 

These recommended times may be extended to 7.30am if there are no noisy activities on Saturdays. Workers may arrive at site 30 minutes prior, but no noisy work should be done outside these times unless changed by prior agreement, and noise should be kept to a minimum in the first hour. Contractors should inform local residents prior to particularly noisy activities and provide contact details. 

Reporting Noise Problems 

In the first instance, we advise that you inform the company directly to see if a resolution can be found and to give them an opportunity to address the issues and allow you to reach a compromise. Where this is not possible or it is ineffective contact us, and we will investigate. 

Contact us to report a noise problem.

Good practice guidelines for contractors

Construction and demolition work is usually noisy and, although the work may not last long, noise disturbance, dust nuisance and other issues may lead to problems for people who live and work near the site. 

It is in everyone’s interest to try to anticipate potential problems and plan ways to avoid them. Good public relations will help minimise complaints – keeping local residents and businesses informed about what is happening on the site will help. People are generally more tolerant if they know why the work is necessary; when it will start and finish each day; and how long it will take. 

Avoid the need to park on the street by providing onsite parking wherever possible, and keep the public footpaths and highways in a clean and tidy state. 

Noise issues

The law requires that Best Practical Means (BPM) must be used to minimise noise. Contractors can obtain guidance from British Standard 5228 – “Noise and Vibration Control on Construction and Open Sites”.


•    keep to the normal working hours detailed above 

•    give at least 48 hours notice to residents  

•    select the quietest suitable plant and equipment and keep it properly maintained and observe safe working practices.  

•    fixed items of construction plant should be electrically powered rather than diesel or petrol driven. Vehicles and mechanical plant should be fitted with effective exhaust silencers and when not in use should be shut down or throttled down to a minimum. Keep noisy plant and machinery as far as possible away from noise sensitive buildings 

•    do not use radios on the site where it could cause disturbance 

Working outside normal hours may be permitted under exceptional circumstances such as: 

•    emergency works 

•    work required for immediate Health and Safety reasons 

•    work which is likely to cause major disruption to traffic and where police/highways officers decide they should take place at night or over the weekend

Barking Dogs

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

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  and through the explanantory videos below.

 📋Explanatory Videos and User Guide

A Noise App User Guide can be viewed  The Noise App User Guide - Reporters.pdf

The new Noise App 2.0 walkthrough video link is  

 📲 Download the App 

Google Play – Noise App 2.0 -

App Store   – Noise App 2.0 - 

Search for 'The Noise App 2.0' 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.

App FAQs

Submitting a noise recording                                    

  1. Record

    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.

  2. Select the source

    First, what type of noise is it? Scroll and choose a source from the list provided

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5.  Address

    Lastly, enter the address of the noise source. Please ensure you check the address is correct if you use the Google maps GPS function.

  6. Confirmation

    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.

  7. Report Sent

    You will receive a confirmation message saying that your entry has been sent.

  8. 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.

Contact Details

For further information please contact the Health, Housing and Public Conveniences Team

T:  028 71253253 

E: health&[email protected] 

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