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Last edited 01 Sep 2020
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.’
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.
- 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.
NB, NRM3: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works, suggests that normal working hours are typically 8.30 to 5.30 Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays), but also makes clear that working hours vary.
In May 2020, a ‘Safe Working Charter’ was launched by the Government and the Home Builders Federation, enabling builders to return to work safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. This allowed builders to agree more flexible construction working hours with their local council, such as staggering arrival times. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/housing-secretary-sets-out-plan-to-re-start-housing-market
In June 2020 the Business and Planning Bill was introduced, allowing local authorities to rule on extended working hours applications, and generally permitting site working until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, and 24 hour working in some circumstances in non-residential areas. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/draft-planning-guidance-to-support-the-business-and-planning-bill
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Code of construction practice.
- 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 at Work Assessment.
- Noise nuisance.
- Out of hours working.
- Permitted development.
- Planning condition.
- Quiet period.
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