Complaints about noise from domestic houses and gardens go first to Newport City Council's community safety wardens who will speak with the person making the noise and ask them to stop.
If this does not help the issue is passed to the council's environmental health team.
Complaints about noise from all other premises are dealt with by the environmental health team.
Although you can make an anonymous complaint to the community safety wardens, the environmental health team must have your name and address in order to help you.
The role of the environmental health team is to assess whether the noise can be classed as a statutory nuisance.
A statutory nuisance is defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as being 'prejudicial to health or a nuisance', i.e. a noise that the average person would consider to be a nuisance, rather than noise of a specific volume.
Noise that is annoying to some people may not be a statutory nuisance.
The council has a duty to deal with statutory nuisance and an officer will make an assessment based on:
- when the noise happens
- how often it happens
- how long it lasts
- the volume or intensity of the noise
- the location and characteristics of the area
If we believe a statutory nuisance exists we will serve an abatement notice which, if breached, may result in court proceedings.
You may be asked to note when the noise takes place using noise diary sheets so that council officers can assess whether there is a statutory noise nuisance.
You may also wish to download and use the Noise App for free if you have a smartphone or tablet and use it to submit evidence about alleged noise nuisance once it has been reported to the council.
Once you have created an account you will be able to make a 30 second recording of the noise, complete a form and submit a report online.
Although using the app won't replace noise monitoring visits by council officers, it may make it easier for you to provide evidence to support any allegations.
Evidence needs to be true, to the best of your knowledge and belief.
Deliberately stating anything in your evidence which is false could make you liable to prosecution.
If the council prosecutes based on your evidence you will be expected to provide a statement, without this we may not be able to take matters further.