Q: We recently moved into a new-build house near a long-standing retail park six months ago. There have always been regular deliveries to the retail park, but generally they were during the day when we were out. Any later deliveries were few and far between. The noise for one delivery isn’t terrible, but we have noted that some of the lights for the delivery yard shine directly into our home. In the run up to the Christmas, there are now deliveries up until 11 or 12 at night. There is a lot of noise from these multiple deliveries, and we find that the lights stay on until the early hours of the morning. This is not only disturbing our sleep but our kids too. We are all exhausted in the mornings. Is there anything that can be done?
A: You or your solicitor should see if you can locate the planning permissions for the retail park. It would be normal that such planning permissions would include hours of operation, and any deliveries outside of this would not be allowed.
Even if the planning permissions didn’t refer specifically to deliveries, you can still make a complaint to your local authority. You should also consider contacting your local councillor to confirm the difficulties that you are having.
If the local authority are not in a position to prosecute the case, you could make a complaint directly to the district court.
The noise must be “so loud, so continuous, so repeated, and of such duration or pitch, or occurring at such times, as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to a person in any premises in the neighbourhood”.
There are various defences, of course, such as the business taking all reasonable care.
It may also be necessary to employ a noise consultant to confirm the level, time and frequency of the noise. You should keep detailed notes kept of when and how the noise affects you.
Your first port of call should be with the retail park directly. They might be able to vary delivery times, install newer and less intrusive lights, and so on. Even if you feel that they have no intention of doing so, trying to resolve the matter directly is always advisable before pushing the matter to court.
Unfortunately lighting is not covered by any of the relevant pollution legislation. You could bring a claim for nuisance to the court, but this could be difficult if for no other reason than the retail park was in existence prior to your home being built.
If you have any difficulties whatsoever, please speak to your solicitor.