Lithium battery fires

Lithium batteries have caused fires in the rubbish lorries. Please do not put batteries in your waste or recycling bin. All batteries (including lithium batteries from e-bikes and e-scooters and other re-chargeable devices) can be taken to the Reuse and Recycling Centre at Northumberland Wharf.

Noise control

Noise we are not able to investigate


  • Traffic noise, revving engines, sounding horns
  • Noise from trains, the tube or DLR
  • Track works to Rail/Tube/DLR (at any time)
  • Noise made by military forces
  • Noise from campaigning demonstrations
  • Rowdy behaviour in the street, people gathering in the street
  • Noise from your neighbour for example, people moving around and talking, noise from flushing toilets, children running around.



Road noise from emergency works or streetworks. To access details for permitted public roadworks please visit the London Works website.

You can email us at or check our road notices listing.

Obstructions to roads and pavements

If you notice an obstruction to a road or pavement please report it.


Anyone disturbed by the Night Tube or everyday Tube services can contact TFL's 24/7 Customer Service Centre

Tel: 0343 222 1234


We cannot respond to noise from aircraft or trains. For train and railway noise, contact the Network Rail Helpline

Tel: 0845 711414

Property next to the railway - Network Rail

The useful things to know if you’re thinking about buying property or land near the railway.


If you are experiencing noise from any aircraft please contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Tel: 020 7453 6525

Public disorder

Noise in the street or in public parks

If your call relates to public disorder issue in the street you should continue to use the Metropolitan Police Service on 101.

See more information if your complaint relates to Anti Social Behaviour.

Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) or noise from loudspeakers in Public Parks

On the spot fines have been introduced for breaking byelaws in parks and open spaces. Playing loud music or tampering with life saving equipment or having a barbeque could result in an £80 fine.

The service is pro-active based on information we receive. Antisocial behaviour including:

An officer from the ASB team will contact you following a review of the completed complaint form.

Read more on the story

Noise we can investigate

The council receives approximately 5000 complaints per year. We can take action on excessive levels of noise considered to be a statutory noise nuisance, but residents must be aware that we need to monitor the noise complained of from within their premises.

We can help with most problems, complaints or enquiries concerning residential and commercial noise, including the following:

  • unreasonable noise from loud music from pubs, clubs and bars

  • for complaints relating to a breach of Premises Licence, e.g. noise from a venue's outside area beyond the hours permitted on their licence, please speak to the Licensing Team 

  • excessively loud amplified music and parties (repeated over a time period)

  • persistent noise from musical instruments, domestic appliances, leisure activities/hobbies

  • car alarms (sounding persistently for over twenty minutes)

  • burglar alarms (sounding persistently for over twenty minutes)

  • noise from construction sites or building works outside of permitted hours. Please see the agreed policy on construction sites

  • DIY noise after 8pm or before 8am

  • unreasonable noise from air handling or refrigeration units

  • audio systems in stationary vehicles

Noise from canal boats 

Our Noise Control Team have worked with the Canal & River Trust to help manage complaints from parties on canal boats. Read more on the noise story.

Find out more about our service

Residential noise

Noise from residential premises may be:


  • DIY
  • parties with amplified music (repeated over a time period)
  • musical instruments
  • domestic appliances
  • leisure activities / hobbies



An out of hours officer will attempt, where it is safe to do so, to visit the premises complained of and speak to the person responsible for the party. If the party is not a nuisance, they will give advice on ways of reducing the noise e.g. shutting windows, turning down the bass volume.

If (following assessment from the complainant’s home) officers believe the noise from the party is be statutory nuisance, officers may serve an abatement notice.

If the noise nuisance does not stop within the time specified on the notice, a case may be compiled and forwarded to the legal team for prosecution.

Officers may also consider the option of equipment seizure in the event of non-compliance with the notice served and where the statutory noise nuisance is severe and continuous. 

If residents do not agree to the Officer’s out of hours assessment visit

If residents do not agree to the Officer’s out of hours assessment visit at their property, the team may not be able to proceed with legal action only request the noise is turned down or turned off at the premises noted to be responsible for the noise.

Anonymous complaints

Anonymous complaints cannot be progressed by the Environmental Protection Team. The service must verify that the complaint is from a genuine source.

If you would like the Environmental Protection Team to investigate your noise complaint, please provide your full name, address, telephone/mobile and or email address. 

A note on confidentiality

When you make a complaint to the service your details are confidential.

In the event of a prosecution by the council, your details will then become known to the individual creating the nuisance and you will be required to make a statement and attend court. Without your support in this matter, we would not be able take formal action in support of your complaint.

Property landlords, Managing Agents and/or Housing Providers

Property landlords, Managing Agents and/or Housing Providers will be contacted in the event of verified noise complaints where an officer from the out of hours team has visited.

The Environmental Protection Team have developed a noise strategy with the Health and Housing Team. Where properties in Tower Hamlets have a licence in place the teams work in partnership to share information on noise reports from private rented properties.

The Landlord and or Managing Agent must take the appropriate action to prevent further noise disturbance. We believe that this will be an effective approach by our teams to address reported noise and anti-social behaviour.

Car alarms

We can enter vehicles to disarm sounding alarms and to remove the vehicles to a safe place where necessary. The costs involved will be recovered from the owner of the vehicle. The owner’s details are obtained from DVLA.

Audible intruder alarms (AIA)

We can get a warrant to enter premises and deactivate AIA's that are causing statutory noise nuisance to persons living or working nearby.

A warrant may authorise entry to such other persons and equipment as is necessary to de-activate the alarm. Entry to premises should only take place in the company of a police officer and will cause minimal damage and disturbance. If it is possible the alarm will be reset, and the premises will also be effectively secured.

We can get a warrant only when:

  • the alarm has been sounding for more than 1 hour after it was activated,
  • the officer has unsuccessfully tried to contact nominated key holders and
  • it is causing annoyance to persons living or working nearby.

Construction and Demolition Activities

Noise nuisance from construction works is controlled by Section 60 and Section 61 Control of Pollution Act 1974. This note does not cover noise from DIY by residents which is covered by Section 80 Environmental Protection Act 1990.

  •  8am-6pm Monday to Friday
  • You need to get approval before any noisy work takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, public or bank holidays

Further information on demolition in Tower Hamlets

How do I get prior approval for demolition?


Before undertaking demolition which is permitted development under Part 11 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended, you must apply to the local planning authority, providing a written description of the proposed demolition. At the same time you must put up a site notice about the proposed demolition. The local planning authority will then determine whether prior approval is required for the method of demolition and any proposed restoration of the site. The local planning authority may then grant or refuse the prior approval. If, within 28 days of your application, the local planning authority has given no indication of whether prior approval is required or not, the demolition may begin without prior approval.


Planning Permission

Permission or ‘prior approval’ may be required to demolish a building; it depends on a number of factors including the type and size of the building and where it is located.

You should ask your local planning authority for advice to find out what is required for the demolition you have in mind before any work commences to avoid the risk of legal action being taken against you.

For example, see below for a summary of certain situations that require specific permissions before demolition can be carried out.

You are also advised to review the full official government guidance on the consent regimes around demolition and when permission is required.

  • Conservation areas – Any demolition within a conservation area is further restricted and will require an ‘Application for planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area’ unless it meets certain criteria.
  • Listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments – These are covered by different legislation and will require a different type of application.
  • Pubs or other drinking establishments – An application for full planning permission is required to demolish pubs or other drinking establishments, including those with expanded food provision. 
  • Concert halls, theatres, and venues for live music performances – An application for full planning permission is required to demolish buildings in use as concert halls, theatres, or venues for live music performances.
  • Unsafe/uninhabitable buildings – An application for full planning permission is required to demolish any building that has been rendered unsafe or otherwise uninhabitable, by the action or inaction of any person having an interest in the land on which the building stands, where it is practicable to secure safety or health by works of repair or works for affording temporary support.
  • Outdoor statues, memorials, and monuments – Any demolition of outdoor statues, memorials, and monuments is further restricted and may require Planning Permission unless it meets certain criteria.

Permitted development rights do not apply where demolition is:

  • on land which is the subject of planning permission for its redevelopment, granted on an application, or deemed to be granted
  • required or permitted to be carried out by or under any other enactment
  • required to be carried out by virtue of a relevant obligation.

When demolition is permitted, it does not automatically follow that you will get planning permission to build any replacement structure or to change the use of the site. Even in situations where the original building has suffered fire or storm damage.

Construction Code of Practice 2023

  • If a development has Planning Permission and Planning Conditions issued before the new Code, it will still follow the working hour conditions from the Code of Construction Practice 2006.

Statutory permission to work without a s61 Agreement (8am to 1pm only)

  • If development is approved after 26 April 2023, it must follow working hours and the Code of Construction Practice 2023.
  • If you want to change Planning Approvals given before 26 April 2023, you might have to follow the new working hours:
    • Working hours 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
    • No noisy works on
      • Saturdays
      • Sundays
      • Bank Holidays
      • Public Holidays
    • You must get approval from the Environmental Protection (Noise) team to carry out noisy works on these days. Find out how to apply for Section 61 consent.

Check the Construction Code of Practice 2023



The 2023 COCP will ask contractors to categorise the construction site in order to simplify the S61 application process.

View the construction site categories.

Apply for all  Control of Pollution Act 1974 Section 61 consents, dispensations and variations.

Contractors / developers can (but it is not mandatory) seek a written consent under Section 61 Control of Pollution Act 1974 from the local authority to gain consent to carry out construction works where conditions will be agreed as to the operating hours and days when work may take place outside the normal construction hours.

Read the guidance on how to apply for Section 61 consent.

Please submit completed S61 applications 28 days in advance of the date of the proposed works.

This is to allow officers enough time to process the requests, provide advice on any changes required in advance of the proposed out of hours works.

Control of Pollution Act 1974 Section 61 consents and dispensations are specific to the associated planning application. To view the documents please go to the Online Planning Register of Tower Hamlets website.

Acoustic (Noise) report guidance for acousticians

Noise in the street

This covers noise emitted or caused by a vehicle, machinery, or equipment in the street.

It includes noise from:

  • car alarms

  • Unreasonable noise from air handling or refrigeration units

  • goods deliveries where best practical means to minimise noise are not being used

  • professional car repairs in the street

  • any industrial work activities on the street

  • all building, engineering, and demolition works in the streets arising from the use of compressors, generators and pumps left unattended

  • audio systems in stationary vehicles

Noise map

The Environmental Protection Team have created a noise map for road and rail noise. We have also mapped construction sites that have COPA 1974 section 61 consent and noise report data for 2019 and 2020. 

Check our noise map

Contact us

We work closely with residents, businesses, developers and regional partners to control levels of noise.

To make a report to the Environmental Protection (Noise) Team, the daytime noise response is available from 9am to 5pm

The Out of Hours Noise Response Service is available from Thursday to Sunday, (evenings only), 8pm – 3.30am

Please follow the prompts then hold while the call connects to the call handler. If the line is busy you will be asked to leave details on an answer phone.

If you are affected by noise outside of these hours, then please inform us during daytime hours so we can ensure we record relevant details to consider future actions.

Tel: 020 7364 5000