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Light and noise nuisance

Light nuisance

The light nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 apply to artificial light nuisance from sources such as streetlights, domestic and commercial security lights, advertisement lights, sports grounds, exterior lighting of buildings and so on. More information is available from the Scottish Government website.

Contact Environmental Health to make a complaint about artificial light nuisance.

Noise nuisance

Excessive noise can make life a misery; noisy neighbours, barking dogs, noise from licensed premises or construction sites are just some of the problems that can be experienced. Many noise problems, particularly those involving neighbours, can be resolved informally by, for example, explaining to your neighbours the difficulties they are causing. However, when this approach fails the Council may be able to help.

Types of noise

Environmental Health can investigate most types of unwanted noise. Noise type can be split into 2 main categories dependent on the source; domestic or non-domestic.

Domestic noise

Examples of domestic noise include:

  • amplified music
  • DIY or car repairs
  • domestic appliances (eg TV, washing machine)
  • musical instruments
  • domestic alarms
  • barking dogs (see comments below on annoying creatures)
  • banging doors
  • raised voices

Non-domestic noise

Non-domestic noise is noise which originates from any source other than a domestic property. Examples include:

  • commercial/industrial alarms
  • commercial premises
  • industrial premises
  • entertainment/music (eg public houses, nightclubs)
  • construction/demolition
  • roadworks

Notices and fines

Warning notices can be issued where noise from a domestic property exceeds the noise limit, or in the opinion of an officer is likely to exceed the limit. Warning notices require the noise maker to stop or turn down the unwanted noise within 10 minutes of its service. Non compliance with such a notice is an offence and could lead to a report being submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Alternatively, a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 may be issued and requires to be paid within 28 days.

In addition, where an officer is of the opinion that a nuisance exists in terms of Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 an abatement notice could be served. Non compliance with an abatement notice is an offence and could lead to a report being submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Alternatively, a fixed penalty of £150 could be offered or in the case of trade, commercial or industrial premises, a penalty of £400. 

Pay a fixed penalty

Annoying creatures

Where a complaint is made to Environmental Health regarding creatures which give reasonable cause for alarm or annoyance (eg dogs barking for prolonged periods of time/or at unsociable hours, cockerels crowing) advice is given to members of the public regarding making an application to the Justice of the Peace Court for an order to be made to prevent the continuance of the annoyance. This application is made in terms of Section 49 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and by the person or persons who are being subjected to the annoyance. 

Make a complaint

Noise complaints can be made by contacting Environmental Health.

Contact Environmental Health




01294 324339


North Ayrshire Council, Economic Development & Regeneration, Environmental Health, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE