Noise complaints

Last year, the City Council received just under a thousand complaints through its out of hours service or online. Add to this several hundred enquiries made by telephone, face to face or as part of general nuisance or anti-social behaviour complaints, and it’s not surprising that noise is the number one cause of complaint.

It has several teams who act on noise complaints:

  • the Business Regulation and Miscellaneous Licensing team deals with commercial pollution, including noise
  • the Private Sector Safety and HMO Enforcement teams deal with serious housing-related nuisance
  • the Community Response Team deals with domestic noise and low level anti-social behaviour
  • the Anti-Social Behaviour Investigation Team deals with more serious levels of anti-social behaviour.

Outside normal working hours a rota of officers from these teams provides the out of hours noise service.

There are no fixed limits for what noise levels are considered acceptable, meaning the teams need a good understanding of the legal framework around noise nuisance and the ability to make accurate sound measurements.

Noise nuisance – how to report it

You can report the following noise complaints to the City Council:

  • Noisy neighbours (loud music, parties, alarms, DIY at unreasonable hours)
  • Anti-social neighbours (shouting, arguing, door slamming)
  • Noise from commercial premises (entertainment, ventilation systems, alarms).
  • Noise from industrial premises (factories, construction sites, demolition, alarms)
  • Noise in the street (car alarms or loud stereos, ice cream vans, busking and street entertainment)
  • Animals (barking dogs or other noisy animals)
  • College Balls

1) Report it online at any time or ring the main City Council number on 01865 249811 if it is office hours. The night-time noise nuisance team works at the following hours and will pick up reported complaints:

Monday to Wednesday – 11pm to 1am
Thursday and Sunday – 11pm to 2am
Friday and Saturday – 11pm to 4am

2) If the complaint is related to Oxford Brookes University, please ring the Community Engagement Office and leave a message on 01865 484451 with details regarding the incident or send an email to; the office will respond in the morning (or Monday if called/emailed during the weekend) If an incident occurs during daytime on weekdays, they can contact us directly (using the same details as above).

3) Contact the PCSO’s (Police Community Support Officers) calling 101 unless lives are at risk, in which case ring 999.