Can I have a band or Dj playing in my back garden
Night time noise
If your local council has resolved to apply the provisions of the Noise Act 1996 (in England, Wales or Northern Ireland), or been ordered by the Secretary of State to do so, it must take reasonable steps to investigate complaints of noise from dwellings or licensed premises between 11pm and 7am. In Scotland, if your local council has resolved to adopt the provisions of Part 5 of the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 it has to ensure that an investigation is made into any complaint of noise from accommodation, shared private gardens or common property in a tenement or housing scheme (but not from licensed premises). Ask your local council if they have adopted the relevant noise control provisions. Council officers can enter premises where there is noise beyond the prescribed levels and remove any equipment responsible for the noise. Some councils have out-of-hours noise patrols who can investigate alleged night-time noise nuisances in person. The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 also grants powers to local authorities in England and Wales to investigate night noises whether or not they have adopted the provisions of the Noise Act 1996.
Councils can prosecute any unlawful use of loudspeakers, without issuing an abatement notice first, and users can be fined up to £5,000, plus a further fine of up to £50 for each day on which the offence continues after conviction. Essential services such as the police, ambulance services and fire brigade are exempt from loudspeaker restrictions.
Parties, Loud Music and Excessive Noise
Reasonable neighbours are not usually ‘killjoys’ and most of us will want to have a party celebration at some time or another. The best way of avoiding any problems with your neighbours is to tell them in advance that you are Planning A Party, what time it’s going to start and, more importantly, what time you’re planning to end it (or at least the time by which you’ll ensure that they won’t be disturbed by excessive noise – usually related to loud music but also by rowdy conversations and boisterous behaviour).
In terms of the ending time, it’s not unreasonable to expect your neighbours to agree to a finishing time of the ‘noisy’ element to a party to, say, by 11pm or midnight. That’s not to say you can have the volume at whatever level you want, as there are strict laws surrounding that issue. Ending at midnight also doesn’t mean that the party can’t continue beyond that time, but you’ll need to keep the music and the noise down to a reasonable level so as not to disturb neighbours.
You also need to take even greater care and be more sensitive to your neighbours if you’re planning on holding the party outside in the garden, where noise travels more easily and where its impact is felt even greater. Better still, why not invite the neighbours?