Noise can be unwanted sound that interferes with the peace and quiet you enjoy in your own home.

Complaints about noise have increased over the past few years and our Environmental Health team spend a lot of time dealing with them.

There is no quick fix to noise complaints and it can take some time to resolve complaints effectively.

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

  • privately owned and occupied houses
  • houses rented from a private landlord or housing association
  • commercial and industrial premises
  • pubs, clubs and other places of entertainment
  • construction and demolition sites
  • ice cream vans.

In certain circumstances, other agencies such as Police Scotland and the Council's Housing Services can deal with complaints.

If you are bothered by noise, try approaching the person, household or business concerned first to politely discuss the issue and a possible compromise. If that doesn't work you should keep a diary of dates, times and types of excessive noise. Contact us to make a formal complaint if the noise nuisance is on the above list.

What we'll do

We will investigate complaints and will normally contact the person or company responsible for making the noise. If there is no improvements 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.


Antisocial and neighbour noise

If the noise is coming from a Council house or garden, contact Housing Services at your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub. They will give advice, investigate complaints and take action if necessary.

You should contact Police Scotland if the noise is being caused by vehicles, rowdy behaviour (breach of the peace), loud parties and music and is loud enough to require immediate action.

A warning will usually be given if the Police are called out to a noisy party. They also have the power to confiscate noise making equipment, such as a stereo, if warnings are not heeded.


Barking dogs

It is normal and natural for dogs to bark and you cannot expect a neighbour's dog to always be silent. However, if the noise is so loud, frequent and prolonged as to interfere with your normal activities as an occupier, it is reasonable to expect the dog owner to take steps to address excessive barking.

If you are concerned about a dog's barking, we suggest that in the first instance that you raise the problem with your neighbour in normal conversation. Explain how the barking affects you and ask your neighbour if he/she would attempt to tackle the problem. Often dog owners will not realise that their dog is causing a disturbance. This way, it can be brought to their attention and addressed informally, without the dog owner feeling they have been complained about to the authorities.

What if I am unable to speak to the dog owner?

We recognise that this is not always possible, because it may be difficult to approach the dog owner directly. We recommend that you put your concerns down in writing to your neighbour in polite terms, again pointing out that the barking is causing annoyance and requesting that he/she takes action to solve the problem.

How much time should I give the dog owner to resolve the issue before taking it further?

You should allow adequate time for your neighbour to consider your request and take appropriate action. You should allow at least 2 weeks before starting to see an improvement. Copies of correspondence should be kept for future reference.

Should the barking continue, you may apply to the Justice of the Peace Court under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for an Order to prevent the noise.

Justice of the Peace application form and guidance

Construction and demolition noise

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

  • Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 7:00pm
  • Saturday: 8:00am to 1:00pm
  • Sunday/Bank Holidays: No noise to be audible at the site boundary

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 Protection Team in advance of works taking place to discuss proposals and obtain consent.

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.