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What is it?

What is it?

Noise pollution is best described as unwanted sound, and has many sources, including industry, places of public entertainment, road, rail, air traffic and construction sites. South Ayrshire's Environmental Protection Team investigates complaints of noise from industrial activity, ice cream vans and amplified music from places of entertainment such as public houses, discos and raves.

Common noise complaints

A common source of noise complaints is from residential properties in the form of amplified music as a result of televisions or hi-fi's being played too loud. South Ayrshire Council have trained staff who can mediate between neighbours in an attempt to resolve such disputes.

Dog barking

Dog barking complaints are very common. They can often be avoided by owners following the advice in our leaflet "Is your Dog barking Too Much". In the event that the barking becomes a nuisance officers can assess the noise for you. Another approach is for you to take a civil action at the sheriff Court. Details of this procedure are explained in our leaflet "Is the noise of dog barking driving you mad". Also included is a blank court petition leaflet.

Intruder alarms

Complaints regarding audible intruder alarms misfiring can be avoided by fitting the alarm with the required 20 minute cut-off and by notifying the local police of details of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of key holders.

Construction work noise

Another source of noise is construction work, and this is tackled by ensuring that the plant used is adequately controlled, by regulating hours of activity, and by setting suitable noise levels.

Environmental Health scrutinise plans for proposed developments to ensure that possible sources of noise nuisance are eliminated or controlled. Our observations on noise standards and conditions are taken into consideration when planning permission is sought.


Another common cause for complaint is vibration. This can occur from heavy vehicles, blasting e.g. at quarries or from construction activities such as pile driving. Environmental Health has a duty to investigate such complaints and establish through monitoring whether a statutory nuisance exists.

Noise app

We are currently trialling a noise app which when authorised by an officer, affected residents can download an app to their mobile device and submit recordings of the noise they are being bothered by for assessment by the officer.

There is a privacy notice associated with the use of this app to protect persons being recorded as follows:

Noise app privacy notice (PDF) [22KB]

How can we help?

Officers will visit and assess the noise or vibration to establish whether a statutory nuisance exists. Every case is different but if a statutory nuisance is established then we will consider what further action is appropriate.

Our protocol for dealing with noise complaints is that we normally carry out a maximum of three monitoring visits. If no statutory nuisance has been established at the end of these three visits and there is no material change in the noise then we have to draw a line under the complaint. We are happy however to offer advice on how the complainer can take their own your action if they so wish.