Environmental problems

Construction hours of work and noise levels

This information is to help contractors and developers to understand the restrictions that apply to construction work to protect residents and businesses from high noise levels.

Standard hours of work

The standard permitted hours of work for activities which would be audible beyond the site boundary are:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 8am to 1pm
  • Sundays and bank holidays: No working

Best practicable means

Contractors should ensure that the best practicable means are employed to minimise noise, and refer to British Standard 5228:2014 - Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites, parts 1 and 2.

Where possible, contractors should ensure that noise levels outside noise-sensitive premises, for example façade levels, do not exceed the following limits:

Noise level limits
Environment Critical health effect Sound level Leq, dB (A) Time
Dwelling/offices Speech intelligibility 75 7am-7pm
Schools Speech intelligibility 65 During class
Dwellings Speech intelligibility 65 7pm-11pm
Dwellings Sleep disturbance 45 or equal to ambient noise levels if these are higher than 45dB (A) 11pm-7am

For certain noisy operations such as piling, it may not always be possible to achieve the above noise limits. In such circumstances, contractors should give advance notice to any neighbours who are likely to be affected by the works, giving details of how long the noisy operations are scheduled to go on for.

Work outside standard hours

Where a contractor identifies a need to work outside normal hours, you should liaise as soon as possible with the council’s Environmental Protection Team to discuss your proposals. Before we can approve such work you must provide the following information:

  • location
  • need for out of hours working
  • duration
  • location of noise sensitive premises affected
  • details of proposed consultation with occupiers of noise sensitive premises
  • working methods
  • mitigation measures to minimise noise

The key to successful working outside standard hours is effective consultation with those people affected by the work.

For more information, contact the Environmental Protection Unit.