Work on construction sites is generally prohibited during night-time hours in built-up areas.
Nevertheless, an exemption can be obtained from the Environment Agency's Unit for Permits and Subsidies (Unité permis et subsides de Administration de l'environnement) before the works are scheduled to begin.
Who is concerned
Any business that is required to undertake:
- public or private construction, upgrade, repair, earthworks or storage works;
- between the hours of 22.00 and 7.00;
- in a built-up area.
The exemption application may be submitted by the business itself or through a third party.
Prior to submitting their application, the applicant may also prepare a topographical map showing:
- the boundaries of the work site;
- the locations of the main sources of noise (excavators, lorries, etc.);
- the plots of land within a 200-metre radius of the works site.
The application must be submitted before the scheduled commencement of the work.
The Environment Agency recommends that applications be submitted:
- at least 2 weeks before the works are scheduled to begin;
- at least 2 months before the works are scheduled to begin, for:
- large-scale works; or
- works that are likely to cause noise (e.g., civil engineering projects, or the use of noisy equipment such as sledgehammers and chainsaws).
How to proceed
Filing an application
Applicants must apply for a permit for night work from the Environment Agency's Unit for Permits and Subsidies.
Applications may also be submitted by email to 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
The application must specify:
- the applicant's identity;
- the business carrying out the works (if different from the applicant);
- a description of the work site (address, name of the works owner, etc.);
- why night work is necessary;
- a description of the works to be carried out (start and end dates, working hours, etc.);
- a description of the noise levels expected at the site, together with a list of the equipment and/or machinery used;
- a description of the traffic on public roads generated by the works.
For concrete-polishing works, and for greater flexibility in reacting to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., weather conditions, progress of works), the following wording may be used instead of specifying exact dates: "Works over a period of … nights, between … and … ".
Applicants must enclose the following with their application:
- a topographical map showing:
- the boundaries of the work site;
- the locations of the main sources of noise;
- the plots of land within a 200-metre radius of the site;
- if necessary, any specific studies (e.g., an acoustic analysis) requested by the Environment Agency.
Applicants may contact the Environment Agency beforehand to ascertain whether such studies are required with their application.
The administration's decision
If, after examination, the application is approved by the Environment Agency, an authorisation order will be issued.
The order must be publicly displayed at all times at the work site. Moreover, the applicant must inform neighbours in the vicinity of the site about the night works before work commences.
If their application is refused, the applicant may:
- submit a new application specifying the measures they intend to take to reduce noise levels at night (e.g., erection of noise-reducing walls, commissioning an acoustic analysis, etc.);
- contest the decision by lodging, within the legally required time limits:
- contest the decision by referring the matter to the Ombudsman.