Construction work and even some DIY activities can create noise, dust, and other nuisances which can affect your neighbours and other nearby properties.
This guidance is intended for both homeowners and contractors. It identifies some of the more common sources of construction related nuisance and suggests practical ways to control them, so that your premises remains lawful and neighbour friendly.
Wind-blown dust emissions arise not only from processes carried out at the site but also from storage. Dust problems can occur 24 hours a day.
The wind, its speed and direction cannot be controlled, so look at:
- Dampening of materials
- Protection from wind by storage under cover for example, material cover or in bunded areas.
Loading and unloading activities
Moving materials can cause problems with dust.
Loading and unloading is a vital and frequent activity when carrying out construction work. Apply the following controls:
- Dampening of materials
- Reducing drop heights where possible
- Protecting activities from wind, which can make the problem worse.
Transport within and off site
Transport within and off site can cause two problems:
- Making dust airborne by turbulence generated by vehicle movement
- Weight of vehicles crushing larger particles to produce smaller particles, which become more readily airborne.
Dust depends greatly on vehicle traffic on and around the site. These methods can help:
- Sheeting/covering lorries
- Wheel wash
- Restrict vehicle speed
- Dampening of material and unsurfaced roads.
Dust from construction and demolition activities
- Grinding out mortar prior to re-pointing
- Stone cutting
- General demolition activities
- Sand blasting.
- Use of protective sheeting
- Damping down
- Connect equipment to a constant water supply (where possible)
Common plant and machinery
Plant and machinery noise can be loud and disruptive. Examples include:
- cement mixers
- Position plant and machinery as far away as possible from noise sensitive areas.
- Screen noisy machinery from noise sensitive areas using existing buildings, earth and rubble piles, etc., where possible.
- Use low noise machinery which is properly maintained and operated.
- If the machine is stationary, fit an acoustic enclosure.
- Where possible use mains electricity rather than a generator supply.
- Switch off all equipment when not in use.
Try to keep the noisier work for the middle of the day. Quieter work is best kept for the beginning or end of the day, for example, painting and decorating.
It is recommended that you limit working hours to:
- Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
- Saturdays, 8am to 1pm
- No work on Sundays or Bank Holidays
Manual mechanical handling of materials and equipment
Handling of materials and equipment can be loud and disruptive. Examples include:
- demolition activities
- brick crushing
To reduce the noise risk consider appropriate timing of the activity and reduce drop heights.
Vehicles moving on and off site
Vehicles can be noisy when moving around site. Examples include:
- delivery of building materials
Prevent vehicles from visiting the site between 6pm and 8am (overnight). Prevent suppliers visiting site early and causing idling vehicles outside the site.
Keep the volume of music down, and at a level that cannot be heard by nearby residents.
Where the development involves pile driving, contact the local authority before the work begins. The information the local authority will be looking for will include:
- The proposed hours of piling and the duration of the work
- The proposed methodology and th justification behind it
- A site contact should complaints be received.
All waste needs to be disposed of safely, legally and appropriately.
If you're a business you need to use a licensed waste carrier to ensure your waste is being disposed of legally.
We would encourage homeowners to compost, recycle and ensure proper disposal of their waste before burning is considered.
Fires should be closely supervised at all times and items such as plastics, rubber or treated wood should never be disposed of by burning. It is always polite to let your neighbours know when you intend to have a fire and check the weather prior to having a bonfire.
Every effort should be made to control artificial light escaping from a site. For example, the fitting of diffusers/guards, ensuring there is no light overspill into neighbouring properties.