Most of us have experienced a noise problem at one time or another, whether it is from commercial or industrial premises or the house next door. Often noise problems are resolved simply by a polite but nevertheless frank approach to the person responsible for the noise, asking for their co-operation. It must be said that good neighbourly relations will often involve a degree of live and let live. The occasional noisy party, loud hi-fi or barking dog has to be taken in our stride. On the other hand there can be persistent disturbances, which by their very nature, timing and duration cause real inconvenience and anxiety.
In these circumstances, no matter how much you have discussed the matter with the person concerned, the noise continues. This noise may then amount to a Statutory Nuisance (a serious prolonged noise problem) and you may need to contact the Environmental Health Division of the Council to investigate. Each different case has to be decided upon its merits, what may be a nuisance in one area may not be in another. The assessment has to take into account the circumstances which would be tolerated by an ordinary reasonable person.
The following are considered as reasonable expectations for residents of or visitors to Blaenau Gwent:
- To be able to sleep without reasonable disturbance;
- Protection from loss of amenity due to excessive noise;
- Qualified professional staff available to assess existence of a nuisance;
- Not to hear someone else’s noisy activities in their own home, for example barking dogs or loud music;
- To improve liaison between residents and other groups when this proves necessary.
Once you have made your complaint to the Environmental Health Section it will be allocated to a named investigating officer. The council does not take anonymous complaints for two reasons. Firstly, in order to be a statutory nuisance the council must be satisfied that the noise it is affecting a specific person or persons. Secondly, the rights of the person being complained about must also be protected ensuring that the complaint made is not malicious. The process of investigating your complaint will then be initiated. The length of an investigation may only take a few hours, in the case of a mis-firing burglar alarm, or several months in the case of intermittent loud music from a domestic property. We always ask for your patience and co-operation while we investigate.