The Royal Borough expects contractors to employ best practicable means to reduce noise to a minimum, as defined in the Control of Pollution Act 1974, BS 5228, and the Royal Borough’s Code of Construction Practice on minimizing noise (Code), vibration and dust.
The Royal Borough’s Code of Construction Practice on minimizing noise.
As of April 2016 all new developments will be subject to the Code, with the Code introduced to existing sites over the next 6 to 12 months.
It is important that you read the Code prior to development and in the majority of cases at the planning stage to allow you to plan your resources and construction methodology.
Key aspects of the Code.
All developers and contractors must develop a communication strategy for neighbour liaison. The occupiers of neighbouring premises must be informed of any works, within a reasonable time period before they start, to provide as much notice as possible of any unavoidable noise or vibration they are likely to be exposed to. All sites must be assessed and characterised as either Category 1, 2 or 3. A site’s character will determine the extent of neighbour liaison, noise monitoring and whether a S61 Prior Consent is required.
Category 1 sites will normally require an application for a S61 Prior Consent to be submitted.
All construction sites will be subject to control through a notice/consent under S60 or S61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
- The quietest available equipment and methods must be used in conjunction with noise barriers and mitigation measures, the use of percussive breaking equipment must be avoided wherever possible.
- Dust suppression and screening must be used.
- If no mains electricity supply is available at a site at the commencement of works the Council expects contractors to apply for a temporary builder’s power supply until a permanent supply is installed.
Permitted hours of noisy work (audible at boundary)
- 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- At no time Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Restricted hours for high impact activities (e.g. all demolition and concrete-breaking works)
- 9am to noon and 2pm to 5:30pm Monday to Friday
- At no time Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
On rare occasions work outside these hours may be unavoidable. For example, police restrictions may mean that certain deliveries can only take place on a Sunday when traffic is light. Except in cases of extreme emergency, the Council should be notified well in advance of any such deviations from the normal pattern of work, and strongly advises contractors to notify surrounding residents.
The Code does not apply to ‘DIY’ works carried out by the occupier of a property.
Please contact the Noise & Nuisance Team for advice and any potential requirement to work outside of the Code.
Telephone 0207 361 3002
To assist developers to comply with the Code and plan at the design/concept stages officers will provide professional advice on the pre-application process for Section 61 applications under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and will charge on an hourly rate basis.
|Officer Hourly Rate|
|Head of Service||£83|
|Environmental Health Officer||£51|
If you are disturbed by noisy works outside the permitted hours, please contact the Council’s Noise and Nuisance Team.
Damage to adjoining structures due to vibration, even if superficial e.g. cracked plasterwork may be provided for under the terms of a party wall agreement, but please note this is not a matter for which the Council is empowered to act. For further information on party wall agreements please visit the planning portal website.
Enquiries relating to site safety issues or concerns about unsafe construction processes and practices should be referred to the Health and Safety Executive.
For other information on the steps that builders and developers should be taking, see our 'steps for builders' page.
Legislation and best practice
There are a number of legislative controls and steps to follow for noise on a construction site and all sub-contractors and specialist contractors must be made fully aware of these requirements.
- Control of Pollution Act (COPA) 1974, section 72 (Best Practicable Means)
- COPA, section 60 (Council notice) and 61 (prior approval).
- Environmental Protection Act 1990 (sections 79-82 – statutory nuisance)
- Environmental Protection Act 1990 – Authorised processes
- Environmental Impact Assessment regulations, 1999 and 2009 Regulations
- The Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001
Best practice guidance includes
- British Standard 5228-1 2:2009: ‘Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites - Part 1 (Noise) and Part 2 (Vibration).’
- Annex E of British Standard 5228-18233-2:2009
- BS 5969: 1981 (1989) Specification for Sound Level Meters
- BS 6472-1:2008 Evaluation of Human Exposure to Vibration in Buildings
- BS 7385-2:1993 Evaluation and measurement for vibration in buildings — Part 2: Guide to damage levels from ground borne vibration
The above information contains links to external websites. We will do our best to maintain these links but apologise if any of them become broken.