Summer Time Noise

A post on Streetlife ( from one our neighbours prompted this post.

It’s summer again and we all want to open our windows, get out into our gardens and enjoy our homes. We want to invite our friends round, have a barbeque and perhaps listen to music.

Unfortunately one man’s enjoyable party is another’s nightmare, and every year the noise pollution team is called out to attend to one party after another. The party, referred to in the Streetlife comment, was in Addiscombe Court Rd and could be heard in Cedar Rd.

Part of the problem is finding some common ground about the level of noise. Below is a table from The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (see link below for those that like reading more). If we look at the table below, the noise that draws complaints is around level 3 and above.


Table 1.0: Subjective assessment scale.

Subjective level 1 = entertainment music noise is very faint and barely audible; concentration is required to distinguish the entertainment music noise over the background noise; the absence of the entertainment music noise is more noticeable when it stops than its presence when it is on.

Subjective level 2 = entertainment music noise is distinguishable but at a low level; specific lyrics are not identifiable; entertainment music noise would be masked by normal speech or television volume.

Subjective level 3 = entertainment music noise is clear and distinct; lyrics may be identifiable; audible over normal speech or television volume; sleep would prove difficult in this climate; noise would constitute a statutory nuisance if regular and prolonged.

Subjective level 4 = entertainment music noise is dominant over all other noise; sleep would prove impossible; individual incident would constitute a statutory nuisance if prolonged.

Subjective level 5 = entertainment music noise pervades entire premises where measurement is taking place; sensation of vibration may be felt; entertainment music noise audible throughout general external area.


Part of the problem is that domestic sound systems have become more powerful, with greater emphasis on the bass.

So what do we do?

First of all, no one has the right to do anything at anytime that creates unreasonable levels of noise. Equally most of us don’t want to prevent our neighbours enjoying themselves.

If you’re planning a party,

think about your neighbours. Friday and Saturday evenings are probably best as people are less likely to be working the next day. If you want to hold a lively party it’s your responsibility to approach your neighbours and take their concerns into account. You are also responsible for your guests, and making sure that they don’t start increasing the music volume or getting into arguments with your neighbours. It’s you that the council or the police will come to if there’s a complaint, and your music system that could be seized. And you’re living alongside your neighbours the next day.


If you are on the receiving end of a noisy event,

the best thing to do is to contact the council’s noise control team straight away. (

The noise control team will take quite a while to respond. Ask your neighbours also to complain to the council. If you feel comfortable about it, do approach the person making the noise and ask them to turn the noise down.

If you have the time, send us a note using the Contact Page. (

I shall be contacting the noise control team and requesting their advice on this subject.

Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope that we might all have a summer that’s not ruined by the inconsiderate behaviour of a few.

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