In response to your complaint an officer from the Environmental Services Section will usually wish to discuss your complaint with you before taking action. You can normally expect an initial visit or telephone call within one working day dependent on the urgency of the complaint but all complaints will receive attention within three working days. Where action is the responsibility of another agency your complaint will be referred to the appropriate authority and you will be advised accordingly, eg if the complaint is about aircraft noise we will refer it to the Military or Civil Aviation bodies.
The officer will explain to you what action is to be taken. This usually involves the officer hearing the noise and then making an informal approach in the first instance to the person or persons you have complained about. Afterwards a letter may also be sent advising that a complaint has been made and asking them to take any steps that may be necessary to reduce the noise. The officer may also ask you to keep a record of any further disturbances following the visit. (This record may be used if a more formal action is taken later). To make your record please use the:
Pollution Control: Odour, Noise and Smoke Complaint: Diary Sheet (PDF: 113Kb / 1 page) .
If the noise continues an officer will normally make three or more visits to assess the extent of the disturbance and to see whether, in his/her judgement, the noise represents a statutory nuisance. Automatic recording equipment may also be used in some situations to assess intermittent disturbance but, in most cases it will be necessary for an officer to witness the noise before formal action can be taken. If the noise occurs outside normal office hours visits will be made at times when the noise is likely to occur, or alternatively automatic recording equipment may be brought to your house.
If the officer is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists a Noise Abatement Notice will be served on the person(s) causing the problem. Where work is required to meet the terms of the notice a period of time will be given to allow work to be carried out. Failure to comply with the notice is a criminal offence and the persons can be prosecuted. If the notice specifies the carrying out of work and this is not done, the Council may decide to do it itself and recover the costs from the persons(s) responsible.
There are some occasions where the Council is unable to take action, particularly where the noise occurs intermittently and is not judged to be a statutory nuisance. If the Council decides that formal action cannot be taken you will be informed and given advice about taking action yourself if you wish to do so.
You will be informed in writing when the Council has concluded the investigation of your complaint in accordance with this procedure.
For further information:
Contact: Environmental Protection Team
Address: Mansion House, Penrith Cumbria CA11 7YG
Telephone: 01768 212490