Little uptake of night-time noise powers

Only a dozen local authorities have adopted the powers for controlling night-time noise provided by the Noise Act 1996, according to junior Environment Minister Keith Hill. 1

The Act provided powers to deal with night-time neighbourhood noise, enabling councils to seize noise-making equipment and impose fixed penalties of £100 (ENDS Report 258, p 28 ).

Just twelve English authorities are known to have adopted the Act since it was brought into force in early 1997. They are Barnet, Bromley, Havering, Waltham Forest and Westminster in London, along with East Devon, Guildford, Hertsmere, Newark and Sherwood, Rushcliffe, Shepway and Surrey Heath.

The then Government promised to review uptake of the powers after they had been in force for two years. Mr Hill said that a review was commissioned last year and the outcome will be announced "shortly".

In a separate answer, Environment Minister Michael Meacher said that the Government had given a commitment to consider the case for a national ambient noise strategy, and "a first step will be to issue a consultation paper on the options" - though no deadline was offered. 2

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