Section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974

Developers and contractors can agree noise levels with us in advance of works starting. This prior consent is issued under section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (COPA).

The applicant must detail how they will manage noise onsite by using Best Practicable Means (BPM),

We may issue the consent with conditions and it is an offense not to comply with these conditions.

You must apply for a consent at least 28 days before works are to take place.

Your application should include the following information:

  • a site location plan which shows:
    • noise, vibration, and dust monitoring locations
    • the site boundary
    • nearby roads and railways
    • nearest sensitive receptors or residential properties
  • the main contractors contact details
  • what the predicted noise levels will be
  • what the aims of the works are
  • a method statement of the works which:
    • outlines any phases of the works
    • what machinery you will use
    • what methods will be employed
  • the working hours of the site including exceptions
  • evidence that you have considered how to decrease the impact of noise and vibrations on the local environment
  • details of any public relations work for example a letter drop to surrounding residents and businesses

You will need to:

  • undertake noise and where necessary vibration monitoring throughout the period of works
  • compare the readings against predicted levels
  • take corrective action to reduce levels should the actual noise be greater than the predictions by 3dB(A)
  • send us the results of noise and vibration tests

You must give residents information before the works start.

You can do this by:

  • having a meeting
  • supplying a drop-in centre

Where you are planning works at night you will also need to letter drop residents along with the choice of added drop-in centres or meetings.

All communications with residents must include a name and telephone number for the main works contact.

You must:

  • handle all complaints within an adequate timeframe
  • report all complaints to us within 24 hours
  • give us a report within 5 days of the complaint which:
    • gives us the results of your investigation
    • details any actions taken
    • what information you gave to the complainant

Normal working hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm. We will only agree works outside of these hours if there are either health and safety or operational constraints. You must give us details of why you wish to work outside normal working hours.

If you need to make changes to the consent you must apply 14 days in advance of the works for a dispensation.

If you do not apply for prior consent and we substantiate a complaint we can issue a notice under Section 60 of the act. This notice will set the working hours and terms and conditions that you must follow.

To apply

You will need to apply online for this consent.

You should include any extra documents we request as part of the application.


We have 28 days in which to decide on whether to issue the consent. We do not have to grant consent if you gave us insufficient information on the application. In most cases we will work with you to get the required information so we can grant the consent.

We may also add conditions to the consent where we feel you will need extra requirements to reduce noise.

If we refuse a consent you have the right of appeal.


If we refuse a consent or if you wish to challenge any conditions, we add to the consent you must contact the local Magistrates’ court within 21 days.

Your grounds for appeal are:

  • any condition we impose is not justified
  • there has been some informality, defect, or error in connection with the consent
  • the requirements of any condition are unreasonable in character or extent
  • the specified time periods within which any conditions are to be complied with are not reasonably sufficient

The magistrates’ court can vary the consent, quash any condition, or dismiss the appeal.

Varying the consent

If you need to change the consent you will need to apply for a dispensation. You must apply at least 14 days before works start.

You will need to include:

  • how you will tell affected residents
  • why you cannot carry the works out under the existing terms of the consent

If the works are outside of normal working hours, you’ll also need to give us details of why you wish to work outside normal working hours along. We will only agree these works if there are either health and safety or operational constraints.