FAQ's about noise

  • What is environmental noise?

    Environmental noise is 'unwanted sound' arising from all areas of human activity such as noise from transport, industrial and recreational activities. Excessive noise can:

    • seriously harm human health, including mental health
    • interfere with people‚Äôs daily activities at school, at work, at home & during leisure time
    • disrupt sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects
    • lower performance, lead to annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour

    In Ireland, we would normally consider noise complaints under four main categories:

    • entertainment
    • domestic/neighbourhood noise
    • industrial/commercial activities
    • transport-related noise
  • What can I do about a noise nuisance?

    There are a number of steps open to you under the law when you are experiencing a nuisance caused by noise. The procedures detailed below are designed to cover general neighbourhood type noise problems, such as continual noise from other houses home workshops, local businesses etc. The Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No.179 of 1994) provide redress in the case of these types of problems. They are designed to allow straightforward access to the Courts by individuals or groups concerned about excessive noise.

    When can I take action to deal with noise as a nuisance?

    Whenever you consider noise to be so loud, so continuous, so repeated or of such duration or pitch, or occurring at such times that it gives you reasonable cause for annoyance you can initiate action to deal with it.

    What action can I take?

    Initially, it may be sufficient to explain to whoever is causing the noise that it is a nuisance and come to some mutually acceptable understanding. If this does not resolve the matter you will need to take the following steps:

    • contact your local authority for assistance on general neighbourhood noise, as detailed above. Noise compaints about privately rented accommodation should be directed to the landlord and the relevant city/county council in the case of local authority housing.
    • contact the EPA if you want to make a complaint about an EPA licenced activity.
    • you may exercise your right to make a formal complaint to the District Court seeking an Order to deal with the nuisance. Forms are available from the District Court office.
  • My neighbour's dog is barking, what can I do?

    Initially, it may be sufficient to explain to the dog owner causing the noise that it's a nuisance and come to some mutually acceptable understanding.

    However, persistent problems arising from barking dogs are covered under the Control of Dogs Acts 1986 & 1992.  A copy of the Form used for complaints to the Courts about noise from dogs is available from your local authority (city/council).

  • What can I do about noise arising from public events?

    Any event such as a concert or festival would normally require planning permission. However, in some cases, a particular venue may have prior approval to stage a set number of concerts/events per annum.  The appropriate local authority (city/county council) should be contacted in relation to any planning conditions relating to noise for these once-off events

  • If I have a complaint about road traffic noise, who do I report it too?

    In the first instance, you should contact your local authority. The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) provide a list of links to all local authorities and their relevant contact information in the Local Authorities section on the gov.ie website. The local authority can then advise you if your complaint about road traffic noise is part of their responsibility, or not.            

    If your complaint relates to a national road or a motorway, then Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) who manage this road network, may have a role to play and might be able to advise on any planned works in the area or noise monitoring being carried out. TII have Contact Information – (tii.ie) on their website. There is a section on Noise maps Noise Maps - (tii.ie). TII is a designated noise mapping body for the development of strategic noise maps for local authorities for all major national roads carrying in excess of 3 million vehicles a year, and for light rail lines (Luas).

  • How would a road traffic noise complaint be investigated?

    The main bodies responsible for investigating road traffic noise complaints are Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the Local authorities. TII are responsible for the management of the motorway and the national road network in Ireland. The local authorities are largely responsible for all other roads in Ireland (regional, public and local roads). The local authorities and TII have different roles under the Environmental Noise Regulations

    When you contact your local authority, the details of the noise complaint will need to be recorded by them before a decision can be taken as to which organisation should try to address the complaint. The investigation could be carried out by the local authority, or by TII or a combination of these two organisations. In some Local Authorities, the Environment section may deal with complaints relating to general domestic and commercial noise issues, while the Roads section may take complaints in relation to road traffic noise or other transport sources.

    If the road section giving rise to significant complaints is identified as a Priority Important Area (PIA) in a Noise Action Plan, then this would be the responsibility of the relevant local authority (LA) as the designated action planning authority. Subject to appropriate funding, the LA  would be expected to work on the identification of a cost-effective approach to reduce the road traffic noise impact. The local authority would also need to engage with other organisations (such as TII) if they are responsible for the operation of the specific road network.

  • What sort of measures can be put in place to try to address excessive road noise?

    Noise mitigation measures may be implemented at source, at the receiver, or during transmission between source and receiver. Noise at source may be addressed by promoting use of quieter tyres, by reducing the noise emission limits for road vehicles, resurfacing with low noise road surfaces or by reducing vehicle speeds. Some of these may be long term strategic aims to reducing traffic levels and the effects of noise, but there can also be effective more short-term solutions.

    Measures to reduce noise at the receiver may include façade (front of buildings) noise insulation, such as secondary glazing and acoustically treated ventilation. Reduction of noise during propagation may be achieved by use of noise barriers. Strategic measures may include, for example, better urban and transport planning, better acoustic design for residential developments, creating low noise emission zones and the identification of candidate quiet areas (QAs). QAs may be covered under the environmental noise regulations and are to be regarded as areas where environmental noise levels are deemed to be good.

  • What is the role of various competent authorities in relation to road traffic noise?

    Transport infrastructure Ireland (TII)

    TII are responsible for the management of the motorway and the national road network in Ireland. In 2014, TII (formally known as the National Roads Authority) released a report entitled ‘Good Practice Guidance for the Treatment of Noise during the Planning of National Road Schemes’. This study of Environmental Impact Statements of national road schemes came four years after the publication of the ‘Guidelines for the Treatment of Noise and Vibration in National Road Schemes’. The purpose of the review was to evaluate the effectiveness of noise mitigation measures, in achieving the noise design goal as set out in the Guidelines. https://www.tii.ie/technical-services/environment/planning/

    Local Authorities

    The local authorities are largely responsible for all other roads in Ireland (regional, public and local roads). They are responsible for noise mapping and developing noise actions plans under the Environmental Noise Regulations. Local authorities should investigate noise pollution complaints and work to resolve any issues identified where possible.

    Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC)

    The department includes an Environmental Protection section on their website which provides information on various environmental problems including noise. This Environmental Protection section includes relevant links to websites and helpful documents on the impact of environmental noise and the various approaches to managing unwanted noise nuisance. For more information check out the Environmental Protection section on the department’s website.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    The EPA is the national authority for overseeing the implementation of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2018, as amended. This includes supervisory and advisory functions in relation to strategic noise mapping and noise action planning (every 5 years) for major roads, major rail, major airports, and for large agglomerations (Dublin, Cork & Limerick). The main participants in Round 4 mapping are the Noise Mapping Bodies (NMBs) which include the Local Authorities and the DAA. Noise mapping and action plans | Environmental Protection Agency (epa.ie)

    The EPA’s main role is to ensure that the Noise Maps EPA Maps (Environment & Wellbeing – Noise) and Noise Action Plans (NAPs) that are developed by the local authorities are prepared in accordance with the noise regulations. The Round 4 Strategic Noise Maps (roads, rail, airport and agglomerations) are based on 2021 data. Following the preparation of the noise maps, the relevant local authorities, are required to consult with the public in the preparation of Noise Action Plans (NAPs). These action plans are designed to manage transport noise issues and effects, including the priority important areas identified for prevention and reduction of environmental noise. 

    The EPA provides technical noise guidance on how to prepare the maps and the action plans. EPA also carry out a review of the annual noise action progress reports that are submitted by the various Local Authorities and rank their progress nationally.  However, the Regulations do not confer enforcement powers on the EPA in relation to local investigations or the implementation of these plans. For any follow on the implementation of a noise action plan, you would need to engage with your relevant local authority.

    The process for developing the next round of noise action plans, which must be published by 18 August 2024, has started. As part of this process the local authority are required to consult with the public on the revision of their action plan during 2024.

  • What other organisations provide information on environmental noise?

    The Citizen information site has a section on Noise pollution and complaints, including some information on Noise from transport. Noise pollution and noise complaints (citizensinformation.ie)

  • If I have a complaint about noise at Dublin airport, who do I report it too?

    In the first instance, you should contact the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA). The DAA have a complaints procedure on their website Noise Complaints Procedure| Dublin Airport. The DAA are also contactable using their dedicated free phone noise complaints helpline 1800200034

  • How is an airport noise complaint investigated?

    The daa have a procedure on their website which outlines how a noise complaint can be made and how it is investigated - Noise Complaints Procedure| Dublin Airport

    The daa operate a Noise & Flight Track analyst to investigate each complaint individually to determine if aircraft have breached the environmental noise corridor. The corridors are the designated airspace that aircraft using the runways at Dublin airport are expected to fly within. If it is concluded that an aircraft has breached the environmental noise corridor, then a letter is sent to the complainant confirming this, and details of the breach are then sent to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA-ANSP) for further investigation (https://www.iaa.ie/about-us). The result of the IAA-ANSP investigation is conveyed to the daa Noise and Flight Track Analyst and a letter is then sent to the complainant regarding the results of the IAA-ANSP’s investigation. For access to Dublin Airports Web Trak, see  WebTrak: Dublin Airport (emsbk.com)

  • What is the role of the various competent authorities in relation to Dublin Airport?

    Information on the roles of the various competent authorities is provided below.  

    Dublin Airport Authority (DAA)              

    The daa has numerous policies and procedures in place in dealing with different elements of noise around the airport. Dublin Airport have their own WebTrak Flight Monitoring System which provides a system for members of the public to monitor flights and submit noise complaints. The Dublin Airport complaints procedure allows for an investigation by their Noise & Flight Track analyst into any given complaint to determine if aircraft have breached the environmental noise corridor. For more information see Dublin Airport Noise.

    Air Nav Ireland

    Air Nav Ireland oversee all aircraft arriving and departing Dublin Airport.  Air Nav Ireland provides air traffic control services in Ireland and controls the route in which the aircraft travel. Air traffic management has a vital part to play, not just in delivering a safe and cost-efficient air navigation service but also in minimising the adverse effects of civil aviation, notably aircraft noise and engine emissions. The Flight Track Monitoring Service of daa regularly meet with Air Nav Ireland to carry out a review of aircraft movements in the vicinity of the airport. Further information is available on the Air Nav Ireland website AirNav - Home.

    Airport Noise Competent Authority (ANCA)

    ANCA has the responsibility of ensuring that noise generated by aircraft at Dublin airport are assessed in accordance with EU and Irish Legislation. ANCA monitor compliance with noise mitigation measures and operating restrictions at Dublin Airport. Where a noise problem is identified, ANCA will ensure that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) balanced approach to Aircraft Noise Management is adopted. For more information see Aircraft Noise Competent Authority (ANCA) Fingal County Council.

    The ANCA Aircraft Noise Mitigation report for Dublin airport explains the various steps surrounding aircraft noise mitigation along with the different roles the associated competent authorities play in maintaining such procedures. This report (here) also gives relevant Competent Authority contact details.

    According to ANCA, any aircraft noise complaints should continue to be made to the Dublin Airport Authority (daa); https://www.dublinairport.com/about-us/-community-affairs/noise-complaint

    Fingal County Council

    Fingal Co. Council are responsible for any planning related matters at the airport. This can include enforcement actions if the airport authorities are deemed to breach existing planning conditions.

    Fingal County Council is also responsible for developing the Dublin Airport Noise Action Plan (NAP) NAP Final.pdf (fingal.ie), as is required under the Environmental Noise Regulations. The NAP is designed to manage noise issues and effects associated with Dublin Airport, and where necessary, present measures to reduce the adverse effects of aviation noise where practical.  A 6-8 week public consultation phase will be undertaken by Fingal County Council on the drat NAP.

    An Bord Pleanála

    The North Runway was originally granted planning permission in August 2007 by An Bórd Pleanála (to be named an Coimisiún Pleanála) with conditions that include limitations on night-time use of both the new North Runway and Dublin Airport as a whole. In December 2020, the daa submitted a planning application to modify conditions associated with the new North Runway.

    The Airport Noise Competent Authority (ANCA) carried out a detailed noise impact assessment of Dublin Airport’s proposals and made a Draft Regulatory Decision in 2021. The Draft Regulatory Decision proposed the introduction of noise mitigation measures to ensure that issues of concern identified in the assessment can be managed in both the short and longer term.

    In August 2022, the planning permission was approved by Fingal County Council. The decision allows for new rules around night-time flights to come into effect at Dublin Airport, as put forward by the ANCA. Fingal County Council's decision has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála. It is expected that an appeal decision will be issued by An Bord Pleanála in 2024.

     

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    The EPA is the national authority for overseeing the implementation of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2018, as amended. This includes supervisory and advisory functions in relation to strategic noise mapping and noise action planning (every 5 years) for major roads, major rail, major airports, and for large agglomerations (Dublin, Cork & Limerick). The principal stakeholders in Round 4 mapping are the Noise Mapping Bodies (NMBs) which included the Local authorities and the daa. Noise mapping and action plans | Environmental Protection Agency (epa.ie)

    The Round 4 Strategic Noise Maps are published at EPA Maps (Environment & Wellbeing – Noise). The airport maps are also available on the daa website Contour Maps Information and Downloads| Dublin Airport. The Round 4 noise maps are based on 2021 data as required by the legislation, the Round 4 mapping guidance and instructions from the European Environment Agency, so the maps do not include the new airport runway which commenced operations in August 2022.

    The Dublin airport noise action plan (NAP) is due to be published in January 2025, and there will be a public consultation phase in 2024. The EPA provides technical noise guidance on how to prepare the maps and action plans.

    The EPA does not have an enforcement role in relation to noise emissions arising from the operation of Dublin airport. The EPA provides a noise complaints section on their website. This section outlines the different types of noise complaints and provides links to the relevant competent authorities. See Noise complaints section on the EPA website.

     

     

  • What sort of improvement measures can be put in place to address aircraft noise?

    Fingal County Council are responsible for any planning related matters at the airport. This can include enforcement actions if the airport authorities are deemed to breach existing planning conditions. Fingal County Council is also responsible for developing the Dublin Airport Noise Action Plan (NAP). The NAP is designed to manage noise issues and effects associated with Dublin Airport, and where necessary, present measures to reduce the harmful effects of aviation noise where practical.

    The Airport Noise Competent Authority (ANCA) monitors, and regulates where necessary, for the management of aircraft noise in the communities around Dublin Airport. ANCA is a separate and independent Directorate within Fingal County Council. ANCA monitor compliance with noise mitigation (improvement) measures and any operating restrictions at Dublin Airport. When a noise problem is identified, ANCA will ensure that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) balanced approach to Aircraft Noise Management is adopted.

    A Noise Abatement Objective (NAO) is a policy objective for managing the effects of aircraft noise emissions on the surrounding communities and environment at an airport. It is an objective to ensure that any growth at the airport occurs in the most sustainable manner possible with regards to noise. An NAO may be used to guide the decisions that are needed by the ANCA to manage the aircraft noise aspects of future aircraft operations at Dublin airport.