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Construction Works - Noise, Dust and Smoke

Information for companies and individuals undertaking building works within New Forest District Council

Environmental Health (Environmental Protection), Appletree Court, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7PA. Tel - 023 8028 5411 - option 2; Email -

Are there any hours that builders should stick to?

We understand that building works will generate a certain amount of noise; however, this should be kept to a minimum. This can be achieved by restricting the hours of building works and ensuring that the most appropriate equipment and quieter methods of construction are being used.

On occasions, a development may have planning conditions attached that control the hours of construction activity; however, regardless of any planning conditions, a construction activity should conform to the points shown below which are considered good practice guidelines and have regard to Section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974:

With the exception of emergency works, the generally accepted guideline working hours for noisy construction work are as follows:-

Monday to Friday - 08.00hrs to 18.00hrs

Saturday - 08.00hrs to 13.00hrs

Sunday - not at all

Bank Holidays - not at all

In addition, the 'Best Practicable Means' (BPM) of controlling noise should be employed at all times.

If building work regularly persists outside of the times stated above, further action may be possible if statutory nuisance exists or is likely to occur. It is unlikely action will be taken for occasional 'breaches' of the above guideline hours, or for prolonged or persistent works outside of those hours but which are unlikely to cause a noise nuisance.

Please contact us if you are unreasonably disturbed by noise from a construction activity.

Are there any other controls concerning builders?

Builders should avoid causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties or public areas from dust, and should therefore take adequate dust control. Such measure can include reducing dust at source, damping down and screening.

Can builders have a bonfire?

Not unless a person/building company has a D7 Exemption (regulated by the Environment Agency. You can search whether a company holds one by looking at the Environment Agency Public Register which allows the burning in the open of green waste, sawdust, shavings or cuttings from untreated wood, so long as they originate on the site where they are being burnt. Any other waste derived from a commercial activity cannot be burnt on site and must be disposed of through a licensed contractor/waste handler.

Burning waste on a commercial site i.e. building site, without a D7 Exemption or not in compliance with the exemption, is an offence with an unlimited fine upon conviction.

If you suspect waste other than that detailed above, is being burnt; you should contact Customer Services on 023 8028 5000.

There is also a further offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 where bonfires (subject to certain exemptions) cause dark or black smoke on an industrial or commercial premises, with an unlimited fine upon conviction.

 There is more information about Bonfires on our page Nuisance from Bonfires.

Should there be a problem with noise, dust or smoke from a building site then please contact us via the details at the top of the page.

Other useful links

Nuisance from Bonfires


Updated: 28 Jun 2019
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