Are there noise restrictions on home building?

| 26/11/2017

What are the permitted work hours for residential construction projects?

Auntie’s answer: I am guessing your question centres around ensuring that the time you are home is not disturbed by general pounding and other noises related to a house being built in your neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, a Ministry of Planning official informed me there are no specific provisions in the Development and Planning Law that restricts construction times.

Instead, “Concerns related to noise from construction activity would be either a civil matter or fall under the general disturbance provisions which are enforceable by the police.”

A previous column has covered how noise is addressed in the Public Health Law (2002 Revision) (see Regulation of noise pollution). The relevant section is 7(2)(w), which says any “noise or vibration (other than noise or vibration caused by an aircraft) which is a nuisance, is a statutory nuisance”.

The Department of Environmental Health handles these types of complaints and determines if an abatement notice is justified. Failure to comply with this notice is an offence and on conviction can result in a fine.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Annoyance/discomfort noise is at discretion of attending officer and covered in §12-13 of the long-forgotten, and unsearchable CIG scanned-copy of “Town and Communities Law (Cap 169) (1995 Revision)” [].

    They have to immediately turn it down on first warning. If the police have to come back, they’re guilty of an offense and it’s a $500 fine. If they do it again, it’s $1000. A third time is $5000, plus possibly 6 mos in jail, and forfeiture of whatever’s making the sound.

    Under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision), the Chief Environmental Health Officer has the power to enforce the abatement of a catalog of statutory “nuisances”, including noise, via court order. But again, no regulations to define an offense. It’s very hard to find the necessary court order and police officer when you really need them, often at 3am – go with Town and Communities Law.

    See also: Development and Planning Law (2015 Revision) and Development and Planning Regulations (2015 Revision)

    “light industry” means an industry which is carried on in a special building and in which the process carried on or the machinery used is such as if carried on or used in a residential area would not cause detriment to the amenity of that area including detriment by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, electrical interference, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit;

    (4) Light industrial development may be permitted by the Authority in other areas provided it is not offensive and does not adversely affect the area, and in Residential zones is also subject to regulation 9(3), (4) and (5) as follows-(c) light industry linked to the needs of local communities may alternatively be located conveniently within a residential area;

    Permits come under Building Code Regulations (2013 Revision)[]

    If someone is habitually doing construction work which is causing a nuisance, they can loose their construction permit. Note method of service in 103.5c.