Neighbourhood Noise

It's important to consider your neighbours when it comes to noise, to know what you can do if noise is an issue and when noise restrictions apply.

How we personally respond to particular noises depends on the type of noise. What is fine one day can drive us to distraction the next, and noise that is unacceptable to one person may be perfectly acceptable to another.

Domestic Noise Restrictions

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 provides the following time restrictions for domestic equipment. During these times, noise should not be heard in a habitable room in a neighbour's residence.

Noise Source Time Restrictions

Power tools

8pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays
8pm to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays

Swimming pool and spa pumps

8 pm. to 8am on Sundays and public holidays
8pm. to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays


Midnight to 8am on Friday, Saturday or any day preceding a public holiday
10pm to 8am on any other day

Air conditioner or water heater

10pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays
10pm to 7am on weekdays

Motor vehicles (except when entering or leaving residential premises)

8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays
8pm to 7am on weekdays

Refrigeration unit fitted to motor vehicles

8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays
8pm to 7am on weekdays

Please note, an offence occurs if the noise continues after a warning has been given by either Council or a police officer.


What you can do about noise

There are several things that you can do if neighbourhood noise is a genuine issue for you.

Call NSW Police for immediate action

For any noise complaints that require immediate action, or for after hours noise issues or any associated anti-social behaviour you should contact Singleton Police by phoning T 02 6578 7499.

Talk to your neighbours

In the first instance, try to solve the problem by calmly talking to whoever is causing or generating the noise that is affecting you. The person may not know that the noise is a problem. Often people are happy to work with you to solve the issue or to find a compromise acceptable to all.

Involving Council or other government agencies too early in the negotiation process can sometimes result in a breakdown in neighbourhood relationships.

Contact a Community Justice Centre

If talking to your neighbours does not solve the issue, you can contact the Community Justice Centre. These are independent centres that specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering into a complicated legal process.

Services are free, confidential and voluntary with a 95% success rate. For more information contact the Community Justice Centre.

Requests for Council to respond to a noise complaint

Council takes a neighbourhood approach to noise complaints. The steps Council takes once a noise complaint is received include:

  1. The alleged property will be notified of the complaint and asked for their cooperation to control the noise.
  2. If the problem continues and further complaints are received, Council may undertake a survey of other surrounding premises
  3. If a single premise is affected then the affected person may be advised to seek resolution via the Community Justice Centre or to apply for a noise abatement order.
  4. Where a number of neighbours are affected by the noise, and are willing to give evidence in court, then Council may use discretionary powers available under the relevant legislation to resolve the problem.

Council has a responsibility to act in the interest of the wider community and may choose not to initiate legal action where there is little likelihood of success in the courts.

Noise Abatement Orders

Should noise remain a constant and ongoing problem, you can apply to the local court for a Noise Abatement Order. There are fees associated with making a formal application and you should speak with the local chamber magistrate or seek your own legal advice in regards to the process involved and the evidence you will need to produce to substantiate your case.