Construction sites and demolition sites

Nuisance from construction sites and demolition sites

Construction and demolition sites are noisy and invariably neighbours, especially where development is taking place near to existing residential properties, will be affected from time to time by noise.

We consider that, in most circumstances, where work is being undertaken by a property occupier in their own home that this is D.I.Y. (See Advice on noise from D.I.Y.).

Construction and demolition are lawful and necessary activities and so it is considered that nearby residents should be tolerant of disruption during the work.

On occasion, the levels of disruption at neighbouring properties may be significant for example where piling is required, or works are taking place on a party wall. Whilst this disruption is unfortunate we cannot stop this type of work if it is being undertaken using recognised construction techniques. However, in some cases we may be able to help deal with dust, smoke, noise and other nuisances caused by demolition and building sites.

Reporting a nuisance

A problem can be reported to us online. If the problem is currently happening please call us on 01702 215005.

What we can do

We can investigate and witness the nuisance to assess whether we can deal with the problem.

Our judgement will be based on the impact on the complainant, the intensity, cause, type, duration, time of day, noise background levels and whether the contractor is using the best practical means to minimise the impact the work is having on neighbours.

If we decide that the nuisance could be reduced, we will firstly give advice and if this is not followed it can be followed by a legal notice. If this notice is not complied with there is an unlimited fine that the Court can impose to which our prosecution costs may be added.

The type of things that we may specify includes:

  • which plant or machinery may or may not be used
  • the hours during which work may be carried out
  • maximum noise levels
  • methods of working.

If you want to complain about mud on the road from the construction sites, please see our report a parking or road problem page.

Best practical means

If the contractor is already using the best practical means we will be unable to take any action to resolve your complaint.


Noise from construction sites is controlled by the Control of Pollution Act (COPA) 1974. Construction companies and contractors are required to take all reasonable steps to control noise and to demonstrate that they are applying 'Best Practicable Means'.


Dust from construction sites is controlled by the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and can often be minimised by:

  • carefully siting transport routes
  • providing hard-surfaced roadways
  • imposing speed limits on site
  • damping stockpiles of materials and roadways with water
  • keeping roadways clear
  • adjusting working methods e.g. to minimise demolition or crushing dust
  • storing fine material under cover

It is important to note that the environmental legislation controlling dust is for the protection of human health and the environment in general. If dust only affects your property or possessions, Environmental Health may not be able to help.

Burning waste

Smoke from burning rubbish

Reporting a nuisance

A problem can be reported to us using our online forms.

If the problem is currently happening please call us on 01702 215005.

There is an out of hours service available most Friday and Saturday evenings between 5pm and 1am on 01702 215000.

Contact Environmental Health

Telephone: 01702 215005

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