There is no definitive answer to this but I will try to assist you
I will give some examples.
It is actually illegal to sound a car horn between the hours of 11:30 PM and 7 AM although the sounding of a car horn is not continuous. Even a beep between those prohibited hours is an offence.
At any other time, if it was sounded continually it then becomes nuisance.
The noise of jackhammers from next door comes into the same bracket. There is no statutory period however when it is illegal to make this kind of noise.
Under the circumstances, it is whatever is reasonable. There are several elements to this being reasonable.
How long it is going to continue for in the number of days/weeks
how long it continues for each day during that time
the hours that it happens during.
It is impossible to do some work without making some noise. It would not be unreasonable if they did not make continual noise say before 8 AM or after 8 PM.
However if the noise was continual between 8 AM and 8 PM that would be unreasonable.
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’ (See BS 5228 Parts 2 and 4: 1997, and EC and UK Noise Legislation, as applicable).
At all times the best practicable means as defined in the act must be employed to reduce noise.
So really comes down to what is reasonable in the circumstances.
I think 9 PM is unreasonable. However I also think that from 9 AM until 9 PM continually every day is also unreasonable.
There are some exact figures:
Between 7AM and 7PM its 41dB,
between 7PM and 11PM its 37dB and
from 11PM to 7AM its 31dB ,
however it is a little more complicated than that as those figures are usually taken from within your home and need to be sustained at those levels for a period of time. Readings must be taken by someone who is qualified to do so
The equipment is expensive so leave it to the Envronmental Health dept at the Council.
30 - 40 dB is no louder than whispering but it needs to be continuous on an Environmental health officers equipment (i.e 1 second bursts of a car horn would not suffice (though this is still an offence after 11PM or before 7am in a built up area) but an uninterrupted bass line in music…boom, boom, boom, boom, would)
Ultimately, if you don’t want to bring court proceedings, you can raise the issue with the Environmental Health Department at the Council who can have a quiet word with them and tell them to keep it between certain hours or they can issue them with a noise abatement notice
This is the report on the Local Government Chronicle website. I can tell you that it’s not always possible to log into the site unless you pay a fee and it appears that some people and some browsers can and some cannot. I got in without a problem. If you can’t get in and it wants a fee, try a different browser.
You cannot be the neighbour or the builders with a blunt instrument and your only remedy is to take them to court which is probably going to be a bit of an impossibility join your current isolation.
The work may have been approved by the council but the noise hasn’t and therefore you need to impress with the council the situation and tell them that you want them to do something about it. It is the Environmental Health Department that you need to press.
If they won’t do anything about it, then make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.
With regard to the workers being sent home, then welcome to the current market environment because millions of people are already in that situation.
Whether there will be locked down by the end of the day, heaven only knows but it seems highly likely in which case the work would finish by default. It remains to be seen.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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