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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Responding to a noise control notice

If your neighbour made a complaint about noise coming from you or your property, your local council may issue you with a noise control notice.

    What is a noise control notice?

    A noise control notice is a notice from your local council that limits certain activities or the use of certain equipment to a particular noise level.

    The notice may also set out when the noise can occur, for example, on certain days and/or certain times of the day. It may also set separate noise limits for different periods. If the notice doesn't set different noise limits for different periods, the noise limit applies at all times.

    The notice must be issued in writing.

    If you are served with (given) a noise control notice you must comply with the notice immediately unless the notice sets a later date.
    Once a noise control notice is issued, it stays in force until the council varies (changes) or revokes (cancels) it.

    Sample: Sample noise control notice

    Administrative fee and compliance costs

    If you are served with (given) a noise control notice, you may have to pay an administrative fee and compliance costs.

    Administrative fee

    Your local council will ask you to pay an administrative fee to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice. You must pay the fee within 30 days of receiving the notice. If you don't pay the administrative fee, you may be charged with an offence or given a penalty notice (fine).

    If you are unable to pay the administrative fee, you can apply to have the fee waived (cancelled) or ask for more time to pay. For more information, contact your local council.

    Compliance costs

    Your local council may give you a separate compliance costs notice to cover their costs of monitoring your compliance with the notice. For example, this may include the cost of doing site inspections to investigate any further complaints.

    If you don't pay the amount by the due date specified in the compliance costs notice, the council may take you to court to try and recover the money. If this happens, you should get legal advice.

    What if you don't agree?

    A noise control notice continues to apply until the council varies (changes) or revokes (cancels) it.

    If you don't agree with the notice, you can file an appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court within 21 days of being served with it. If the noise control notice relates to keeping animals you must file any appeal within 7 days of being served with the notice.

    If you want to appeal your notice, you should get legal advice.

    The filing of an appeal will not postpone the start of the notice.

    What if you continue to make the noise?

    If you are served with a noise control notice and you continue to make noise above the noise limit specified in the notice, you will be breaching the notice.

    You may be given a penalty notice (fine) or charged with an offence.

    If you are charged with an offence or elect to challenge your fine in court you could face a maximum penalty and an extra fine for each day the breach continues.

    For more information about electing to have your fine dealt with at court, see the Fines topic on this website.

    If you are charged with an offence, you should get legal advice.