We’re probably all aware that construction work can be noisy and disruptive. And we know that builders prefer to begin working early in the morning to complete as much work as possible during the day. This can lead to disagreements between residents and the construction industry. As a result, the times when building and construction work can take place in the UK are restricted by law.
Timings for Construction Work
Building work in public areas and on construction sites in the United Kingdom is governed by the 1974 Pollution Control Act, which aims to protect the public from both noise and air pollution. This act restricts noisy work to Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. This does not preclude construction work from taking place outside of these hours, but it must be quiet work, such as preparing a site and setting up for the day ahead, or cleaning up the site after work.
Building work in public areas and on construction sites in the United Kingdom is governed by the 1974 Pollution Control Act, which aims to protect the public from both noise pollution and air pollution. This act restricts noisy work from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. This does not preclude construction work from taking place outside of these hours, but it must be quiet work, such as preparing a site and setting up for the day ahead, or cleaning up after work.
Laws about Construction Work
The rules for building work are different on weekends, with more restrictions on what work can be done. Building work can usually be done on a Saturday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. However, there is some variation between local authority areas, so it is critical to check with the Environmental Health department at the relevant council. Working on a Sunday is generally more restricted, with most areas prohibiting noisy work. This is also usually true for bank holidays.
However, if there is no viable alternative, work can sometimes be done on the weekend and outside of normal business hours. Permission may be granted if the work is required on a very urgent or emergency basis, such as to correct a problem that is disrupting the electrical or water supply to homes. There may also be circumstances that make doing the work during normal working hours impossible, such as work on train tracks, which is often done at night when the trains are not running. However, in these exceptional circumstances, the council may issue additional notices to those performing the work, requiring them to limit the types of machinery they use or to take measures to reduce noise pollution.
If a resident believes that construction work near their home is too noisy or is taking place outside of the permitted hours, they should first speak with the builders before filing formal complaints. This allows construction workers to correct any practices that violate the rules or cause significant disruption before any further action is taken. Most issues involving noisy construction work can be resolved in this manner. Residents have the right to complain to the local authority if noisy work is being done outside of the hours specified by the law. If the complaint is found to be valid, the council may issue a noise control notice to the offenders, and if they continue to fail to comply, a fine of up to 20,000 pounds per offense may be imposed.
Organizations such as the Considerate Constructors Scheme are involved in ensuring high building standards, preserving the construction industry’s positive image and reputation, and minimizing the impact of building work on the public. This scheme allows construction sites, construction companies, and suppliers to sign up and then monitor their activity. When a site is registered with the scheme, posters with the name and contact information of the site manager or the owner of the building company involved are placed around the site, allowing members of the public to easily draw attention to anything that is causing an issue.
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday are approved permitted construction work hours. Sundays are off days for construction workers. If the construction work exceeds the timings and continues after 6 p.m., this is against the law and will result in a 20,000-pound fine.
However, if the work is completed after 6 p.m. and there is emergency construction work underway to restore some service, or if there are any safety concerns, the fine will not be charged.