Construction and building sites

We monitor construction and building activities to minimise pollution caused by noise, dust and other nuisances.

What hours are builders allowed to operate?

Construction sites are in the open and are often near existing residential accommodation.

Noise from demolition, construction works, deliveries and the movement of vehicles and other plant both on and off the site has the potential to cause disturbance to neighbouring residents. We would therefore expect that any work audible beyond the boundary of the site should only be carried out between the hours of:

  • Monday to Fridays: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturdays: 8am to 1pm
  • Sundays and Public/Bank Holidays:  No works of any kind permitted
  • No vehicle connected with the works to arrive on site before 7.30am or leave after 7pm (except in the case of emergency)

These hours may be altered for particularly noisy operations i.e piling.  We can serve enforcement or abatement notices if the hours are not kept to, but a builder can apply for consent to work outside these hours if they can show good reason.

Best practicable means to prevent noise from the site should also be employed as defined in British Standard BS 5228 Part 1: 2009. It is recommended that builders allow for this in their project planning and ensure that all sub-contractors are aware of these requirements. Failure to keep to these hours or to employ best practicable means to control noise could lead to the service of an enforcement notice under Section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, or an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, with appropriate penalties for non-compliance with the notices.

If a developer can show there is good reason to deviate from the above, they may apply for prior consent under Section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

What other controls are there concerning builders?

Builders should avoid causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties or persons walking by, from dust and smoke.

Are builders allowed to have a bonfire?

In this context there are two types of bonfire. Ones that produce white smoke and ones that produce dark or black smoke.

White Smoke

Builders are allowed to have bonfires that produce white smoke; however, the smoke must not cause a nuisance to passers by or nearby premises.

Dark or black smoke

Under the Clean Air Act 1993, builders are NOT allowed to have bonfires that produce dark or black smoke - subject to certain exemptions. The maximum fine for contravention is £20,000.

For further details regarding control of noise from construction and associated works, please contact the pollution and environment team.

Address: Environmental Services, Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton On Sea, Essex, CO15 1SE
Telephone: 01255 686767

Some advice will vary from authority to authority so, if you are not a resident of the Tendring district, it is advisable to contact your own local authority.  To find out who your local authority is, you can check your Council Tax bill or enter your postcode on GOV.UK - the Government information website.

Last updated on: 21/11/2022 - 16:45