Noise Pollution

Environmental Health has responsibility for investigating most types of noise problems.

 Examples of the types of complaint dealt with include:

Other types of noise

Aircraft noise is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. However, complaints about aircraft using Edinburgh Airport should be directed to the airport itself. See Aircraft Noise‚Äč for more information

Neighbour / Household noise complaints are the responsibility of the Safer Neigbourhoods Team which can be contacted on 01506 280000. This team also provides an out of hours emergency noise service.

Wind Turbine noise is rigorously assessed by Environmental Health at the planning stage to avoid noise problems arising. For more information see Wind Turbine Noise. Enforcement under planning conditions is carried out by Planning Enforcement.

Transport Noise. there are a number of elements to this:

  • Noise from individual vehicles. General noise, including from modified engines or exhausts, lies with Police Scotland under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations. Contact Police Scotland . Noise from equipment on vehicles such as refrigerators, ice cream van chimes lies with Environmental Health.
  • Noise from general road traffic. Where the noise is caused by a road fault, this should be reported. Management of general noise levels associated with road use is done via the Environmental Noise Directive 2002. This came into force in the UK in late 2006, when the regional versions of the Environmental Noise Regulations came into force (in Scotland from 05/10/2006 in The Environmental Noise (Scotland) Regulations 2006). In Scotland, the competent authority for identifying and mapping noise sources from roads and railways is the Scottish Government.  The resulting strategic noise maps can be found at Scottish Government - Noise Mapping.
  • Location of new homes near existing transport noise sources is considered at the Planning stage. See Planning Application Consultations for more information.

Designing out Noise

Environmental Health is a statutory consultee on planning applications. Planning Officers will consult Environmental Health where there are potential environmental protection matters relevant to an application. By reviewing and making recommendations on planning applications, potential problems can be identified, prevented or managed with effective planning conditions. See Planning Application Consultations for more information.


Dogs, cockerels, parrots, rabbits and farm animals have all resulted in noise complaints. The following provides some guidance on how you can take your own action to resolve these concerns. Environmental health may provide some informal assistance in the process, but this will be dependent on other workload priorities.
Local Authorities have no direct or legal means of control over aircraft noise. This page give details of the arrangements for control of aircraft noise.
An image relating to Construction Noise
The Council can serve a notice imposing requirements as to how construction works should be carried out so as to minimise noise and disturbance.
The Council receives complaints about noise from audible vehicle, house and business alarms. Although alarms may legitimately sound when triggered by intruders, if activated audible alarms are left sounding for a time they can cause considerable annoyance, especially during the night. This explains how the Council deals with audible alarm complaints and provides advice to householders with burglar alarms.
Railway noise generally comes from routine operations, heavy freight trains and engineering work. The council cannot generally act on routine noise or noise from trains themselves, including heavy freight trains. Network Rail has a legal right to carry out engineering works to maintain the network. Often this is done at night for safety reasons or to minimise disruption for those who rely on the trains. Provided best practice is followed to control noise, the council has no remit to intervene.
As well as being more efficient in the way we use energy, the other way to reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide from power generation is to use 'renewable' technologies. These make use of natural sources of energy and so cannot be used up. Now familiar in West Lothian are wind turbines.

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