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Noise from construction sites


The following advice has been prepared as a guide for homeowners, builders, site managers and workers to apply good practice during construction/demolition work.

It is important in every case to inform neighbours or local residents in the vicinity of any proposed works in advance, keep them advised of progress, and provide contact details. It is suggested that you provide the contact details of one person (which could be the contractor’s project manager or you) who will deal with queries and problems.

Pre-warning of works will usually avoid confrontations and complaints later on and maintain good -relations locally. Dacorum Borough Council encourages contractors to maintain a good standard of work.


The Town and Country Planning Act 1990:

  • Planning authority can attach conditions to planning decisions.
  • It is a requirement to fully comply with any conditions imposed.
  • Non-compliance of relevant planning conditions is actively enforced, therefore it is important to ensure these are considered carefully and addressed prior to any development commencing.

The Control of Pollution Act 1974 & Environmental Protection Act 1990:

  • Noise, dust and smoke must be kept to a minimum by building contractors.
  • Dacorum Borough Council have the authority to impose certain restrictions and conditions on working hours, methods of work and type of equipment used, ensuring noise levels are kept to an acceptable level.
  • Dacorum Borough Council actively enforces the above legislation and where necessary will serve a notice requiring alternative working/preventative measures.

Whilst planning permission gives you authority to build, you are reminded to check if any other consents are required, such as building regulation approval or highway works licences prior to starting work. The planning permission may also contain specific condition which must be complied with.


The permitted hours of work when noise can be audible at a construction site boundary are:

  • MONDAY TO FRIDAY 7:30am to 5:30pm
  • SATURDAY 8:00am to 1:00pm
  • SUNDAY AND BANK HOLIDAYS No noisy work allowed

Any noisy operations outside these hours will require consent. You would need to contact Environmental & Community Protection ecp@dacorum.gov.uk as soon as possible.  An example of this may be emergency works.


Noise and vibration must be kept to a minimum by methods of work that conform with the ‘Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on Construction and Open Sites’.

  • Best practicable means must be applied at all times as defined in the Act to reduce noise.
  • All equipment used should be maintained in good mechanical order, fitted with appropriate silencers, mufflers or acoustic covers.
  • Site stationary noise sources e.g. generator as far away from neighbouring properties as possible or, build acoustic barriers (which may consist of site materials e.g. bricks/earth mounds or proprietary types) when this is not possible.
  • Piling should be carried out by methods causing minimum noise and vibration.
  • Workers on site must be aware to keep general site/disruption noise e.g. shouting, radios, vehicles, equipment/plant machinery to a minimum.
  • Vehicle movement to/from site must be controlled minimising noise and disturbance to neighbouring properties.


  • Bonfires are not permitted
  • Precautions should be taken prior to works starting to prevent smoke from machinery, vehicles or combustion on site.
  • Petrol/diesel powered equipment must not emit dark smoke once running temperature is achieved and should be checked and maintained regularly.
  • Dust/dirt should be kept to a minimum to reduce spreading using preventative measures e.g. continuous fine water spray.
  • Adequate water supply must be provided ensuring all parts of the site are reached accordingly.
  • Waste water must be disposed of properly.


You can obtain further information or advice by visiting the council’s website at: http://www.dacorum.gov.uk/  
The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1DN. Tel: 01442 228000