Construction sites are often located next to existing homes - and may give rise to complaints about noise and dust and other nuisance.

A certain amount of noise is unavoidable for most types of construction, demolition and road works - but site managers should operate their sites to ensure minimum disruption to local residents.

Where there is the potential to cause noise nuisance, we expect contractors to follow these guidelines for hours of work:

Day Appropriate time of operation
Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
Saturday 8am to 1pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: No working on noisy activities

In certain circumstances, some works may take place outside of these hours. But the site operator must demonstrate the works could not be done at any other time - and the method of operation and the plant used would ensure the noise impact is kept to a minimum.

There may be certain types of construction work which must be done outside these hours - such as work on railways or busy roads.

In these instances every attempt will be made to keep the disturbance to a minimum. Emergency work on gas or water supplies, for example, may also be carried out at short notice - and this may be at night-time.

The main legislation covering construction sites includes the Control of Pollution Act 1974 which covers noise and vibration and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which covers smoke and dust emissions.

Noise Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, we can serve a notice imposing requirements as to the way works are carried out on site. Generally the notice may impose restrictions and conditions on the working hours, permitted noise levels, method of work and the type of equipment used on site.

Smoke and dust

Burning waste on a demolition or building site (which qualifies as trade waste) is an offence.

Any business doing so is potentially committing three separate offences. If you own or operate a business you must make sure you are fulfilling your 'duty of care' - disposing of your waste in the correct manner. This is a legal requirement under S.34 of the Environmental Protection Act.

If you have any further queries contact the Environment Agency.

The emission of 'dark smoke' from a bonfire on a demolition or building site is an offence under the Clean Air Act 1993. If we see this happening, we'll take immediate action to stop the burning - and if we have to we will take legal action.

Even if the smoke is not 'dark smoke', the bonfire can still cause a nuisance from smoke, smell or ash. We have legal powers to stop, or prevent future bonfires, if a nuisance occurs. Bonfires should be avoided wherever possible - and if they are necessary they should be extinguished at the end of the working day.

Dust can become a problem, especially in dry weather, and all reasonable steps should be taken to avoid it. This may include damping down sand, aggregate or dusty concrete surfaces with water sprays when conditions become dry.

Share this page:

Last updated: Tue 5 May, 2020 @ 12:30