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Noise

If you are organising an event which will have amplified music, live music, large crowds and/or noisy machinery (such as a generator) then please read this information carefully prior to the event. Your event can then take place without causing nuisance and you will not end up with a noise abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act.

Community events are a welcome addition to Bracknell Forest residents, however, events with live and amplified music have the potential to create a noise nuisance to neighbours if not planned carefully.

To organise an event which will not cause a noise nuisance, the event needs to be clearly planned in advance and you should seek guidance from the Safety Advisory Group on noise generating activities.

In certain cases, especially for large events, environmental health officers may monitor the event using subjective tests, such as site visits, or use a sound level meter. Monitoring points are usually the nearest residential property.

The following steps are recommended by environmental health.

Before the event

Before the event you should:

  • write to local residents informing them of the event – this should state the length of the event, when the event is due to finish and the organiser’s phone number so that residents can call if they are disturbed by noise during the event
  • plan the layout of the site if outdoors, ie, move noisy activities away from the most sensitive location
  • if the event is indoors keep doors and windows closed where possible
  • contact an environmental health officer to discuss any specific concerns you may have

During and after the event

During and after the event you should:

  • have a nominated person regularly patrol the area, particularly near any houses, during the event to check the noise levels - if the music is likely to cause a nuisance then the volume should be reduced
  • advise people leaving the event, especially late at night, to leave quietly and not unreasonably disturb residents in the neighbourhood
  • if you have music at your event consider positioning any speakers so they point into the building, or if it is an outdoor event, away from any noise sensitive premises
  • ensure all windows and doors are kept shut - it is often useful to lower volume towards the end of the event
  • after 11pm, music should be kept to a level where it would not be audible inside a residential property
  • outdoor concerts – the music noise level should not exceed 65dB (A) over a 15 minute period at the nearest noise sensitive property and should not continue past 11pm

Finally, remember that whilst your event may be temporary it can nevertheless be a source of considerable annoyance and nuisance to neighbours if noise is not controlled to a reasonable level. Complaints of noise nuisance from events could mean the council may subject future events held on the same site to proactive nuisance action.

Should you require further advice on controlling noise, please contact the please contact the Food and Safety Team.

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