Are you being affected by construction site noise?
If construction site or other noise is affecting you, it may be viewed as a noise nuisance. You can find out more about statutory nuisances (including noise nuisance) and how to complain about them by following the link below.
Noise nuisances (home and community section)
Construction site noise and legislation for the construction industry
Each year the Environmental Health Department receives many complaints about noise generated at construction sites, especially when work is occurring out of normal business hours.
The aim of the noise control guidelines (which you can download below) is to provide information to architects, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and those generally working on building sites to prevent noise nuisance affecting neighbouring property.
The Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999 is likely to impact significantly on current practice in the construction industry in Jersey.The legislation permits us to:
- limit hours of operation of noisy work
- adjust the time of noisy work
- require the use of best available technology to limit noise by the use of quiet equipment
- set noise levels for the work
- protect noise sensitive areas by the use of noise barriers
- keep noise sensitive areas aware of what is going on
As a ready reference we recommend the "British Standard BS 5228 noise and vibration control on open and construction sites Part 1 2009" which is available to buy from the British Standards Institute shop. The standard relates specifically to construction sites and the noise emitted from such works which goes over the points raised above in more detail.
BS 5228 on Standards UK website
Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999 on Jersey Legal Information Board website
What are normal business hours?
The Environmental Health Department views normal business hours as:
- 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- 8am to 1pm Saturday
- no working on Sundays or bank holidays
The above detail is a general guideline of what we would expect from a particular site, but each site is different and circumstances surrounding the works may require a different approach to various aspects of the work to be done. Certain quieter works such as painting could be carried on outside these hours as long as noise is not heard outside the site boundary resulting in complaint.
In summary, the legislation requires all construction companies to plan well ahead and consider:
- the hours of operation in which noisy work will be undertaken
- the plant to be used on site
- the site layout
- contact with neighbours and keeping them informed of what's happening on the site
It is strongly recommended that noise conditions are incorporated in contracts prior to the tendering process. An environmental health officer can advise on situations which are likely to cause a noise nuisance.
Noise control for construction sites guidelines
Minimising noise nuisance from planned out-of-hours streetworks
It’s important to minimise noise nuisance whilst carrying out work in the road out of hours. It's a balance between getting the work done - which is necessary for everyone’s benefit – while protecting nearby residents from noise nuisance.
Download the guidance leaflet for information on complying with the Statutory Nuisances Jersey (Law) 1999, which deals with pollution issues including noise generated on the highway from machinery which may be harmful to health, or considered a nuisance.
Emergency works are not included in the guidance and it is designed for planned streetworks. Many companies already carry out the good practice mentioned in the leaflet and in the list below.
The main elements relate to:
- notifying Health Protection Services before works begin. It helps us if we know in advance (you should ideally send us a copy of any early notification fliers / letters, let the parish know, get the information onto the government and relevant parish websites, and also notify the media)
- times of noisy works
- notifying local residents
- the use of best available technology ie the quietest machinery which is well maintained
- the possible setting of noise limits
- the possible use of barriers or enclosures if practicable
- notification times ie minimum of 5 days
- the importance of effective planning to anticipate issues and measures in to mitigate them as far as possible
Guidance for companies on minimising noise nuisance from planned out-of-hours streetworks
Statutory Nuisances Jersey (Law) 1999 on Jersey Law website
Voluntary codes of practice - Considerate Constructors Scheme
The Considerate Constructors Scheme is an independent organisation which operates voluntary codes of practice to improve the construction industry image. Construction site companies can register with the scheme to participate.
Considerate Constructors Scheme website
The planning process and CEMPs
As part of the planning process Environmental Health may recommend a condition be placed on the planning permit which requires the applicant to provide a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP). These are generally requested for large scale developments which are in close proximity to residential premises, and may also involve the remediation or removal of contaminated land.
Construction and demolition activities can result in nuisance-type complaints if not planned or managed properly. Each case is different and therefore there can be no document that covers all eventualities; however, the CEMP guide below describes the type of information Environmental Health would expect to see in a CEMP.
Guide to producing a CEMP