- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 May 2017
What hours are construction sites allowed to operate?
- Dirt and spillages.
- Damage to highways.
- Traffic congestion.
- Parking issues.
- Disruption to pedestrians.
- Waste accumulation.
- Odours or smoke.
- Artificial lighting.
However, construction is a necessary activity and in the case of Andreae v. Selfridge & Co. Limited (1958) Sir Wilfred Green MR suggested that ‘...if they are reasonably carried on and all proper and reasonable steps are taken to ensure that no undue inconvenience is caused to neighbours, whether from noise, dust, or other reasons, the neighbours must put up with it.’
Such reasonable steps might include working at reasonable times and restricting disruptive activities to particular periods.
Generally, the hours during which construction sites are allowed to operate is determined by the local authority, in accordance with the Control of Pollution Act, and conditions can be applied to planning permissions in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act.
In addition, there may be a requirement to comply with BS 5228 Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on Construction and Open Sites, and the Control of Noise at Work Regulations limit the exposure of workers to noise (this is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive).
Typical restrictions might be:
- Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm.
- Saturdays: 8am to 1pm.
- Sundays and bank holidays: No work permitted, or noisy work prohibited.
Examples of activities that might be prohibited outside of these hours could include:
- The use of hammers and saws.
- The use of drills and sanders.
- Pile driving.
- Erecting and dismantling of scaffolding.
Different hours may apply, for example in business areas where noise or vibration during normal working hours would be disruptive.
- Keeping neighbours informed.
- Monitoring noise, vibration and dust.
- Providing a help line so that problems can be reported.
- Restricting disruptive activities to particular periods.
- Storing fine materials under cover.
- Damping fine materials and roadways.
- Minimising demolition or crushing dust.
- Washing down vehicles.
- Taking care when deciding transport routes.
- Providing hard-surfaced roadways.
- Implementing a waste management strategy.
- Avoiding burning waste materials.
- Limiting vibration.
- Using well-maintained, quiet machinery.
- Carefully selecting and managing sub-contractors.
- Using low disruption methods of work.
- Properly instructing and supervising staff.
- Providing acoustic screening.
- Very occasionally, offering temporary re-housing for residents.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Complaining about construction sites.
- Considerate Constructors Scheme.
- Contractor's working schedule.
- Control of noise at work regulations 2005.
- Environmental health.
- Environmental impact assessment.
- Local authority.
- Noise nuisance.
- Permitted development.
- Planning condition.
- Planning permission.
Featured articles and news
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.
New step-by-step route maps for implementing effective surface water management measures are published.
GMP is an agreement with a contractor that the contract sum will not exceed a specified maximum. Read more here.
The BREEAM Sustainability Champion is changing to the Advisory Professional - here's what you need to know.