What is noise? Any source of sound has the potential to become noise. Sound and noise are terms linked very closely with one another but there is a distinction. This distinction is based on several key ideas:

  • Noise is unwanted sound
  • Noise is a subjective term - what one person thinks is noise, another may consider music
  • Everything we hear is sound - only unwanted sound is noise
  • We cannot measure noise, but we can measure sound

Noise can seriously disrupt peoples' lives, causing loss of sleep, interference to activities and emotional stress. Local Government and the Department of Environmental Protection deal with numerous complaints each year in the district.

The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 prescribes standards and sets out what could be considered as "pollution" or "unreasonable noise". The Regulations have set limits which have been carefully designed to ensure that noise from other premises is kept to acceptable levels.

The basis for determining the assigned noise levels is the land use where the noise is received. Surrounding land uses are also taken into account. This method recognises and protects the quiet surroundings many of us enjoy, while also recognising the influence of industry, commerce and transport on our noise environment.

Construction noise

Noise emitted from a construction site can sometimes be quite disruptive; because of this the Regulations determine when construction noise can be emitted. Construction noise can occur between the hours of 7.00am to 7.00pm, Monday to Saturday. On Sundays and Public Holidays permitable noise levels are reduced to 40 decibels, which is about the level of a conversation between two people, which can only occur from 9.00am to 7.00pm.

For further information or advice, please contact our Environmental Health Services on (08) 91589 367.