Loudspeaker Consent scheme
Under Section 62 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, as amended by section 7 Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993, restrictions are placed on the operation of loudspeakers in the street. In particular loudspeakers shall not be operated between the hours of 9pm and 8am for any purpose.
For the purpose of the legislation "street" means a highway and any other road, footway, square or court, which is for the time being open to the public.
Under Section 8 of Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 the local authority may adopt powers enabling them to grant a consent for a loudspeaker to be used between the hours of 9pm and 8am.
Birmingham City Council has adopted these powers and may grant a consent for the operation of loudspeakers within streets or roads between 9pm and 8am of the following morning (except for advertising or electioneering).
Persons wishing to operate a loudspeaker in the street between the above hours need to apply for a consent. This application is free of charge for the current year and is subject to compliance with the Code of Practice on Environmental Noise at Concerts, which is attached below.
Consents last for the period of the event or no more than 12 months for multiple events at one location. For multiple events the consent may be withdrawn if compliance with the conditions for the consent are not adhered to.
Tel: 0121 303 9938
Frequently Asked Questions
Under the Noise and Statutory Noise Act 1993 the City Council may consent to the operation of a loudspeaker in the street.
Consent cannot be granted to use a loudspeaker in any street for the purposes of advertising any entertainment, trade or business or in connection with an election.
If you wish to operate a loudspeaker in the street between the hours of 9pm and 8am the following morning. However a consent shall not be given to the operation of a loudspeaker in connection with any election or for the purpose of advertising any entertainment, trade or business.
If consent is not obtained prior to operation an offence will be committed under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (unless the exceptions set out below apply when the loudspeaker is in operation
The exceptions to the requirement are:
- For police, fire brigade or ambulance purposes, by the environment agency, a water undertaker or a sewerage undertaker in the exercise of any of its functions or by a local authority within its area;
- For communicating with persons on a vessel or for the purpose of directing the movement of that or any other vessel;
- If the loudspeaker forms part of a public telephone system;
- If the loudspeaker:
- is in or fixed to a vehicle, and
- is operated solely for the entertainment of or for communicating with the driver or a passenger of the vehicle or, where the loudspeaker is or forms part of the horn or similar warning instrument of the vehicle, solely for giving warning to other traffic, and
- is so operated as not to give reasonable cause for annoyance to persons in the vicinity;
- Otherwise than on a highway, by persons employed in connection with a transport undertaking used by the public in a case where the loudspeaker is operated solely for making announcements to passengers or to other persons employed;
- By a travelling showman on land which is being used for the purposes of a pleasure fair;
- In case of emergency
- Section 62 (3) Control of Pollution Act 1974 (ice cream vans)
If a loudspeaker is operated in the street between 9pm and 8am the following morning without consent OR at any other time for the purposes of advertising any entertainment, trade or business then an offence will have been committed.
Those found guilty of using a loudspeaker illegally in the street are liable to a maximum fine of £5,000 for the first or subsequent offence. The Council is not required to serve an abatement notice and offenders are automatically subject to prosecution.
For the purpose of the legislation "street" means a highway and any other road, footway, square or court, which is for the time being open to the public. If you choose to restrict access to a public highway and any other road, footway, square or court, it continues to be open to the public.
You should apply for consent in writing (see our Loudspeaker Consent Scheme webpage to download an application for consent). The law requires the Council to determine the applications within 21 days. Please give as much advance notice as possible and note that if the application is made less than 21 days before the event the Council cannot guarantee that the consent will be granted in time.
There is no application fee at present, but this will be subject to an annual review.
Compliance with the Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at concerts (this can be downloaded from the Loudspeaker Consent scheme web page) will be used in determining applications for consent. If there are no objections to the application the consent will be granted and a consent document sent to you. The consent may be granted subject to conditions.
Any application giving rise to dispute or difficulty will be referred to Birmingham City Council’s Public Protection Committee for determination.
If you withdraw the application the matter will go no further. If the application is refused there is no right of appeal to a magistrates’ court by any person aggrieved by the refusal of consent or by any condition subject to which it is granted.
Telephone on 0121 303 9938 or email email@example.com