Construction site noise and dust pollution

Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 we can serve a notice imposing requirements as to how the construction works should be carried out to minimise noise and nuisance.

We try to ensure that noisy building work is only carried out between the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday, 8am to 1pm
  • At no time on a Sunday or Bank Holiday

Builders should be aware that carrying out noisy work outside of these hours means they may be liable for prosecution. A prosecution can result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Our officers will not deal with noisy works from construction if it is happening within the permitted times. 

Report builders noise and dust pollution

Under section 61 of the Act contractors can apply for prior consent to work outside of the above hours.

Dust pollution

In addition to complaints about noise and vibration, complaints about dust are also dealt with by officers from the Environmental Protection Team. 

If the dust problem is 'happening now', inspectors will visit as soon as possible after the complaint has been logged to substantiate the nuisance. Inspectors will normally contact the customer within 24 hours, of the complaint being logged, and arrange an assessment visit.

If the inspection shows that the dust problem is interfering with the enjoyment of the customer's home, the building workers or contractors may be advised to take preventive measures to remedy the problem.

They will normally be required to provide adequate screening and damping down during all demolition activities, sandblasting, clearance work, breaking up of existing ground surfaces and other site preparation activities.    

If the problem persists and no effort is made to eliminate or reduce it, then our pollution control officers would have a duty to take enforcement action. 

Section 61 guidance for contractors

Contractors guide for S61 applications (pdf)

The section 61 guidance notes above have been developed by the H&F environmental protection team to help developers and contractors on the control of noise and vibration arising from large scale construction activities.

Applicants are advised to contact us to discuss the proposed activity as early as possible to establish if a S61 application is recommended. We do not use S61 application template forms due to the dynamic variety of construction works undertaken in the borough and instead you are advised to follow the layout described within the guidance being as detailed as possible.

We encourage early communication between developers and our environmental protection team. If prior consent is recommended a draft submission should be made at least six weeks before work is due to start. This allows for any necessary amendments before the 28 day period of consideration by the council stated in the legislation.

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