Noise nuisance

What do Inverclyde Council do? 

We can deal with noise from a wide variety of sources including:

  • domestic properties e.g. loud music, appliances, alarms, barking dogs, DIY, antisocial behaviour, etc.
  • commercial and industrial premises
  • pubs, clubs and other places of entertainment
  • construction and demolition sites
  • ice cream vans.

We will investigate complaints and will normally contact the person or company responsible for making the noise. If there is no improvement we may visit your house at a time when it is likely we will witness the noise, or we may install noise monitoring equipment in your house to record it.

If we believe the noise amounts to a Statutory Notice, an Abatement Notice can be served on the person making the noise. This requires the noise to be stopped or limited and if it is not complied with, the person responsible can be prosecuted and fined in the Sheriff Court.

Inverclyde Council's Health Protection team work in partnership with the Social Protection team in providing in an Out of Hours Service which allows us to visit complaints out with office hours.  Other partnership links exist with the Community Wardens and Police Scotland in order to provide a joint approach towards reducing anti-social behaviour.

How to report a noise issue

If you have concerns or enquiries regarding a noise nuisance you should contact the Customer Service Centre, in confidence, for advice and assistance from Inverclyde Council's Health Protection team, using the contact details on this page.  If you are a tenant of a housing association you should first of all contact your housing officer who can apply to The Council on your behalf.

Anonymous noise complaints will not be investigated.  To allow us to fully investigate your complaint you must provide us with:

  • your name, address and if possible a contact telephone number
  • the address complained of and the type of noise nuisance
  • the name/address of the premises or person(s) causing the noise nuisance
  • date/times of incident(s)

The following information will hopefully help you decide if you need to make us aware of any concerns you have with noise issues within the Inverclyde Council area.

Antisocial and neighbour noise

Inverclyde Council has adopted Section 43 to 47 (the “noise control provisions”) of the Anti Social Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. This means that the noise control powers provided in the Act now apply across Inverclyde.  The effect of these noise controls makes it unlawful to emit excessive noise from properties, not just at night but at any time, 24 hours a day. The noise levels that are permitted during the day and night are dependent on the time of day the noise occurs.

Inverclyde Council have set up an ‘Out of Hours’ Service to allow complaints of anti social behaviour noise to be investigated on a 24 hour basis. The types of complaint that are investigated by this service include; excessive noise from a hi-fi or television, prolonged noisy DIY activity and barking dogs.

When noise complaints are received they are assessed in terms of ASB Noise and complaints that are considered to be appropriate are given access to the ‘Out of Hours’ Service.

Please click on the leaflet on this page for information on Antisocial Behaviour Noise.   Inverclyde Council have powers under this legislation to seize any noise making equipment if Warning Notices are ignored and the noise occurs frequently.

Barking dogs

Barking comes naturally to dogs, but the constant barking or whining of a dog can be disturbing or annoying for neighbours. Often the problem occurs when the dog's owner is out of the house and therefore the owner may not know until someone complains. If you are bothered by a barking dog, we would recommend an informal approach to your neighbour to explain your concerns. If, by approaching them yourself there has been no improvement, you should contact the Inverclyde Council's Health Protection team who would initially write to the dog owner.

If the informal approach is unsuccessful, there are two main pieces of legislation that could be used if the barking is so loud, frequent and prolonged as to interfere with your normal activities as an occupier;

  • You may apply to the Justice of the Peace Court under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for an Order to prevent the noise. Please click on Section 49 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for information. 

  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows Local Authorities to take action if they are of the opinion that a Statutory Nuisance exists under the terms of Section 79 of this act.

If your neighbours have complained that your dog is barking click on the Barking Dogs leaflet on this page for some suggestions on simple things you, as a dog owner, can try.

Commercial / Industrial Noise

Noise from commercial and industrial premises, for example, pubs, clubs, factories, garages and shops can be investigated under The Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Local Authorities have powers to issue abatement notices on commercial premises to minimize the disruption to neighbouring residential properties; this could include placing time limits on certain activities or requiring them to undertake works.

Construction site noise

The permitted hours of work for construction and demolition activities within the Inverclyde Council area are:

  • Monday-Friday: 7:30am to 6:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:00am to 1:00pm
  • Sunday/Local public holidays: No work should be carried out

There may be exceptional circumstances where construction and demolition works need to be conducted outside of the above noted hours. Contractors must make contact with the Environmental and Public Protection Service in advance of works taking place to discuss proposals and obtain consent.

These times are for any work which is audible at the site boundary.

Best Practicable Means

Contractors should ensure that the best practicable means are employed to minimise noise. British Standard 5228:Part1:2014 is approved as a code of practice for basic information and procedures for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites.

Intruder & car alarms

Intruder alarms, for both houses and cars, are designed to draw attention to the fact that attempts are being made to enter your home or vehicle. Over-sensitive alarms that sound too frequently without reason will not only cause nuisance to neighbours but will eventually not be reported to authorities as a possible break-in.  Most modern Audible Intruder Alarms are fitted with an automatic cut-out device which automatically stops the ringing after a period of 20 minutes from activation of the system.

In addition to the alarm being fitted with an automatic cut-out device, the alarm system should be regularly maintained and the house holder should also notify Police Scotland or Inverclyde Council's Environmental and Public Protection Service of the names, address’s and telephone numbers of key-holders who, when notified that the alarm is ringing is available to silence the alarm within a reasonable period of time.

If the alarm system does not cut off within twenty minutes and no key-holders can be contacted the alarm is likely to cause nuisance to the surrounding properties. The Local Authority has powers to abate noise nuisance under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which may require a warrant to forcibly enter the premises and silence the alarm. All costs incurred in doing so would be recovered from the home owner.

Click on the link on this page to register the names of your key-holders with Environmental and Public Protection. This can be submitted on-line or printed and posted to Inverclyde Council, Environmental and Public Protection, The James Watt Building, Inverclyde Council, 105 Dalrymple Street, Greenock, PA15 1HU.

Car Alarms

Using the same piece of legislation as above, Environmental and Public Protection can, if a nuisance is occurring and the car owner cannot be contacted, force entry to a vehicle and immobilise the alarm. The car may also be moved to a secure pound and all costs will be recovered from the owner.

Page last updated: 13 December 2019