Construction Noise

A certain amount of noise is inherent in most types of construction and building operations, which can rarely be completely prevented. However, noise from construction sites can be very disturbing.

Building works

Construction Noise

A certain amount of noise is inherent in most types of construction and building operations, which can rarely be completely prevented. However, noise from construction sites can be very disturbing.

Council Powers to Control Noise from Construction Work

The main law used to control construction site noise is the Control of Pollution Act 1974.  The Council can serve a notice imposing requirements as to how construction works should be carried out so as to minimise noise and disturbance.

Acceptable Hours for Noisy Construction Work

Generally, the acceptable hours for noisy work within West Lothian are:

  • Monday to Friday - 08:00-18:00
  • Saturdays - 08:00-13:00

Developers must also demonstrate that they use best practicable means to keep noise to a minimum. No noisy work will normally be permitted on Sundays and bank holidays.

Home Building Work and Do it Yourself

Where home owner has a builder in to do work, it is controlled in the same way as any other construction work.

Where building work is done by the resident, it is always best to discuss concerns with the home owner before contacting us. Often a resident may not realise the effect they are having or how sound is travelling through to other homes. By talking, its often possible to reach an understanding of what's being done, what's involved, how long it will take and how the disturbance can be reduced or prevented. In general, noisy work affecting other peoples' homes should be limited to the times above. However, this doesn't mean a DIYer can make as much noise as they want during these times. Effort should still be made to minimise the noise and disturbance to neighbours.

If it appears that the noise is deliberately intended to be intrusive, it could be viewed as antisocial behaviour. In these cases, we will liaise with the Safer Neighbourhoods Team to determine the best way of tacking the matter.

Operations outwith Acceptable Hours

Operations outside of these hours may, however, be agreed by the Council if it can be demonstrated that the works cannot be carried out at any other time and that items of plant and equipment are operated and maintained so that their use causes the minimum amount of noise.

Emergency works

Sometimes, emergency works have to be undertaken, for example a burst water main. In such circumstances the normal daytime hours of operation would not apply. The work would be undertaken as soon as possible, which if undertaken at night may cause some disturbance.

Further Information

Icon for pdf Construction Noise - A Guide for Contractors [181.58KB] is intended for all builders, contractors, statutory undertakers, developers, architects, and others who are or will be carrying out construction works within West Lothian.