Construction Sites

The majority of construction or demolition projects taking place within the Winchester District would normally need prior approval from the Planning Department and if you require any information about a particular project you should contact them first.

The Environmental Protection Team may become involved if the noise or dust from a site is causing a nuisance to nearby residents.

The problems of noise or other nuisance arising from construction activities can be fairly short-lived, depending on the nature of the construction project. As such, it may be difficult or impracticable to deal with them in the same way as with normal statutory nuisance.

We will often already be aware of larger construction projects through our involvement, as an internal consultee, in the planning application process. In such circumstances, the planning permission will usually include a note to the applicant detailing the normal hours of operation as 0800-1800 Monday to Friday, 0800-1300 Saturday and at no time on Sundays or Bank Holidays. These times are regarded by us as reasonable hours of operation and should limit the amount of nuisance caused to occupiers of nearby properties.

On major developments an environmental management plan is usually required to be submitted as a condition of the planning permission granted. This plan should include the developers proposed actions to prevent/minimise noise and dust problems from construction activities.


As with any other nuisance, it is possible to deal with this problem under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 90). However, due to the short-lived nature of many sites, this may be impracticable. In such cases the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (COPA) can be used. Under Section 60 of COPA a notice can be served which controls the way the works are to be done, including hours of operation and the plant or machinery which can be used.

If you have a complaint

If you are bothered by persistent noise or dust from a construction site, you should contact the Environmental Protection Team on 01962 848 350. You may be requested to put your complaint in writing or complete log sheets, depending on the nature of your complaint. If the activities on the site are unreasonable, we shall contact the site manager and try to resolve your complaint informally. If the problems persist, we shall consider the use of legal notices as discussed above.

Good Practice

If you are considering a construction or demolition project, no matter what size, here are some tips on good practice.

  • Keep any noisy activities restricted to the following hours:
    • Monday to Friday 0800-1800 hours
    • Saturday 0800-1300 hours
    • At no times on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
  • Warn neighbours before the works take place and give them some idea of how long they will take. Where practical provide them with the contact details of the site manager, so if any problems arise there is a first point of contact.
  • If the works are likely to generate large amounts of dust, have provisions in place to control the dust, such as dampening down or dust screens.
  • If necessary install wheel washers to prevent mud being deposited on the highway.
  • Do not burn any material on site. Remove all waste and dispose of it in a reasonable manner.
  • On large sites, whenever possible, perform noisy operations away from adjacent housing.
  • Ensure stereos and radios are kept down to reasonable levels.