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Environment minister James Clappison welcomed the Noise Act, which yesterday received Royal Assent. ...
Environment minister James Clappison welcomed the Noise Act, which yesterday received Royal Assent.

The Noise Act, which was a Private Members' Bill introduced by Harry Greenway, will create a new night time noise offence, to deal with excessive noise from domestic premises at night. It will also clarify the powers available to local authorities to confiscate noise making equipment.

Mr Clappison said: 'This is an important piece of legislation which will provide local authorities with additional powers to deal with the problem of excessive noise.

'Growing concern about the problem of neighbour noise led us to set up the Neighbour Noise Review Working Party. This Act carries forward the working party's recommendations which require legislation.

'The night time noise offence represents a new approach to tackling excessive noise from domestic dwellings. The current system of statutory nuisance can prove a lengthy process which relies on local authority officers making subjective judgements about excessive noise. For the first time we will have an objective standard which should remove the argument as to whether or not a noise is a nuisance.

'This approach will not be appropriate for all areas, and so the Act allows local authorities to adopt the new offence. However, the Act contains a reserve power allowing the secretary of state to order local authorities to take up the new powers. We shall review the workings and take-up of the new offence after it has been operating for two years, to see the effect of its introduction and whether it should be extended.'

Commenting on the clarification of confiscation powers, he said:

'Separating noise makers from their noise making equipment is undoubtedly a very effective way of minimising disturbances. Now that we have clarified the confiscation powers available to local authorities, I am confident that many more will start to use this method to deal with anti-social noise makers.'

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