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Construction works noise

Construction of new buildings, transport links, energy infrastructure or dwellings is a necessary part of our changing environment. By their nature, construction and demolition works will be noisy and people living near construction sites will have to accept some level of disturbance for the duration of most construction projects.

Many construction companies are signed up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme and adhere to their code of practice to ensure noise and vibration impacts are minimised. The council also recognises that unexpected events or particular tasks might require the use of noisy equipment outwith normal working hours, and on some occasions overnight.

Because of time lost as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic many construction projects are behind schedule. In a letter to local authorities the Chief Planner asked that allowable working hours for construction sites be extended, in general, from 7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday, although this could be longer or shorter depending on the nature of the works and the surrounding area.

However, there may be times where you feel that the noise being generated at a construction or demolition site is unreasonable. In the first instance, and if it is safe to do so, you should contact the contractor to make them aware of your concerns. If this is unsuccessful you can contact us to make a complaint. You will be asked to provide details of the construction site along with details of your contact with the contractor.

For major and significant longer term construction projects the council may consider using powers conferred by Sections 60 and 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to impose conditions on the way in which work is carried out on construction sites in order to limit the noise impact on the surrounding premises.

DIY and home improvements

People have a right to make improvements to their home and to carry out repairs and DIY. It is often the case that people need to fit this type of work in around their other commitments which can mean that there is some noise generated with tools and machinery in the evenings and at weekends and bank holidays.

People carrying out DIY or home improvements should be considerate to neighbours and our advice is that you should communicate with your neighbours in advance to let them know when the noise is likely to occur and how long any disturbance is expected to last. Be aware that noise can interact with surfaces in your home, garden or garage and can appear louder than you might think when working near the source.

If a neighbour is causing unreasonable noise from DIY or home improvements, then you should contact them to let them know in the first instance. They may not be aware of the impact their activities is having on you.

If this is unsuccessful you can contact us to make a complaint. You will be asked to provide details of the problem along with details of your contact with your neighbour.

From 2nd November 2020 we are taking part in a 4-week free trial of the Noise app – an app that enables anyone within Aberdeenshire to record evidence of noise nuisance onto their smartphones via the app and submit it to the council.