No. 10 of 1996. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 1 ANTIGUA
[L. S . ]
James B. Carlisle,
18th February, 1997.
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
No. 10 of 1996
An act to make provisions concerning the control of noise with
a view to its abatement.
[ 27th February, 1997. 1
ENACTED by the Parkanent of Antigua and Barbuda as follows -
1. This Act may be cited as the Noise Abatement Act 1996. short title.
2. (1) In this Act Interpretation.
"contravention"inc1udesaf~ure tocomply with the provision
in question, and "contravene" shall be construed accordmgly ;
"loudspeaker" includes any amplifier, microphone,
gramophone or other similar instrument;
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for health;
ANTIGUA 2 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996.
No. 10 of 1996.
"noise" includes vibration;
"noise abatement order" and "noise abatement zone" have
the meanings given by section 1 1;
"noise reduction notice" has themeaning given by section 14;
"Planning Authority" means the Development Control
Authority establishedby seaion 3 (1)oftheLandBevelopment
and Control Act;
"political meeting7' means a meeting for the purpose of
discussing or criticising the performance of the government,
a local authority or such other institution or authority, or
furthering orcriticising theaims objects, actionor programme
of any politid parcg: or for the purpose of supporting or
opposing the candidature of any individual as against any
other or others at an election;
"person responsible", in rekitation to the emission of noise,
means the person to whose act, default or sufferance the noise
"street" means any road, street or open space to which the
public is granted access and any bndge over which a street
passes, and includes any pvately owned road, street or open
space to which the public is granted access either generally
'work of engineering cot~smction" means the cons~uctivr;,
structural alteration, mainte~mce, repair or demolition of
my dmk,&ur, tunnel, b e e , water-works, road reservoir,
pipeline, sewer, sewage works, gas-holder or telephone lines.
(2) Where more than one person is responsible for noise, this
Act shall apply to each of those persons, whether or not the noise
for which any one of them is responsible would itself amount to an
annoyance or wouldresult in alevel of noise justifying action u n d ~
No. 10 of 1996. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 3 ANTIGUA
3. (1) This Act does not apply to noise caused- Exemption fromthe
application of this
(a) at or by an educational class or recreation in or around
a school, college, university or other educational
(b) at or by bona-$ide athletics or sports;
(c) at or by born$& cinematograph, musical, magical or
other theatrical entertainment or other similar
entertainment, beauty competition, handicraft show,
fair, circus, artistic or cultural show, private dance or
party held between 9:00 a.m. and 11:OO p.m. on the
same day in an area not designated a noise abatement
(d) at a bona-fide wedding or celebration thereof between
the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1 1:00 p.m. on the same day;
(e) by an aircraft;
(fl during a period, or by such cause, or for such purpose
as the Minister may by Order specify.
(2) With the exception of sections 5 and 16, this Act does not
apply to noise caused in an area which is not anoise abatement zone
(a) a public or political meeting held -
(i) between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the same
(ii) at any other time permitted by theCommissioner
(b) a religious service or meeting.
(3) Norhing in this Actaffectsany provision of theRepresentation
of the People Act or any rule or regulation made thereunder. Cap. 379
ANTIGUA 4 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. No. 10 of 1996.
Action by Minister 4. (1) Where the Minister is satisfied that noise amounting to
to deal with noise. annoyance exists, or is llkely to occurorrecur in any areaol' Antigua
and Barbuda, he shall serve a notice imposing all or any of the
(a ) requining the abatement of the annoyance or prohibiting
or restricting its occurrence or recurrence;
(b) requiring the execution of such works, and the taking
of such other steps, as may be necessary for the purpose
of the notice or as rnay be specified in the notice;
and the notice shall specify the time or times within which the
requirements of the notice are to be complied with.
(2) The notice shall be served on the person responsible for the
annoyance or, if that person cannot be found or the annoyance has
not yet occurred, on the owner or occupier of the premises from
which the noise is emitted or would be emitted.
(3) The person served with the notice may appeal against the
notice to ajudge in Chambers within twenty-one days from service
of the notice.
(4) Ariy person on whom anotice is served under this section and
who without reasonable excuse contravenes any requirement of the
notice, is guilty of an offence.
(5) In proceedings for an offence under subsection (4) in respect
of noise caused in the course of a trade or business, it is a defence
to prove that the best practicable means have been used for
preventing, or for counteracting the effect of the noise and the
premises from which the noise is emitted is a place in respect of
which the Planning Authority has approved the carrying on of such
trade or business.
(6) In proceedings for an offence under subsection (4) it is a
defence to prove-
No. 10 of 1996. T}w N~nise ABcrtement Act, 1996. 5 AI'TGU.4
(a) that theact or emission causing theannoyancemeetthe
requirements of a nohce served under section 6 or a
consent given under section 7: or
(b) where the alleged offence was committed at a time
when the premises were subject to a notice under
section 14, that the level of noise emanating from the
premises at that time was not such as to constitute a
contravention of the notice under section 14.
(7) If the Minister is of the opinion that proceedmgs for an
offence under subsection (4) would afford an inadequate remedy he
may take proceedings in the High Court for the purpose of securing
the abatement, prohibition or restriction of the annoyance, and the
proceedings is maintainable notwithstanding that the Minister has
suffered no h n a g e from the annoyance; but in any proceedings
taken in pursuance of this subsection it is adefence to prove that the
noise was authorised by a notice under section 6 or a consent under
5. (1) A magistrate's court may act under ttnis section on a Sununary
complaint made by the occupier of any premises on the ground that p
occupier of in his capacity as occupier of the premises he is aggrieved by noise p-enlises,
amounting to a11 annoyance.
(2) If the magistrate's court is satisfied that an alleged ararmoyance
CXIS~S , or that although abated it is llkely to recur on the same
premises, the court may make an Order for either or both of the
foliowing purposes -
(a) requumg thz defend~nt to abate the annoyance, wlthln
a tune specified in the Order, and to execute any work4
necessary !or that purpose;
(b: proh~biting a recurrence of the annoyance, andrequu~ng
the defendant, within a tune specified in the Order. to
execute any works necessary toprevent its recurrence.
(3) Proceedings under this 4ection shall be brought aganst the
Ferson responsible for the annoyance or, if that person camot be
ANTIGUA 6 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. No. 10 of 1996.
found or his identity cannot be determined, against the owner or
occupier of the premises from which the noise is emitted or would
(4) A person who without reasonable excuse contravenes any
requirement of an Order under subsection (2) is guilty of an offence.
(5) In proceedings for an offence under this section in respect of
noise caused in the course of a trade or business, it is a defence to
prove that thebest practicablemeans have been used for preventing,
or for counteracting the effect of the noise, and that the premises
from which the noise is emitted is a place in respect of which the
Planning Authority has approved the carrying on of such trade or
Control of noise on 6. (1) This section applies to works of the following description,
construction site. that is to say-
(a) the erection, construction, alteration, repair, or
maintenance of buildings, structures or roads;
(b) breaking up, opening or boring under any road or
adjacent land in connection with the construction,
inspection, maintenance or removal of works;
(c) demolition or dredging work; and
(d) any work of engineering construction.
(2) Where it appears to the Minister that works to which this
section applies are %ng, or are going to be carried out on any
premises and the noise emanating or likely to emanate therefrom
would amount to an annoyance or would result in a level of noise
justifying action under this Act or Regulations made thereunder, he
may serve a notice imposing special requirements as to the way in
which the works are to be carried out and may publish notice of the
requirements in such way as appears to hi to be appropriate.
(3) The notice may in phcular-
No. 10 of 1996. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 7 . k I G U A
(a) specify the plant or machinery which is or is not to be
b specify the hours during which the works may be
(c} specify the level of noise which my be emitted from
the premises in question or which may be so emitted
during sgzcifiedho'urs; and
(d) provide for any change of circumstances.
(4) In acting un&r &is section the Minister shall have regard-
(a} to theneed for er?suPing that the best practicable means
are employed to minimise noise;
(b) before specifying any particular method or plant or
machinery, to the desirability, in the interests of any
recipients of the not.ice in question, of specifq;ing other
methods or plant or machinery which would be
substantially as effectivein minimising noise andmore
acceptable to them;
(c) to the need to prowt any persons in the locality in
which the premises in question are situated from the
effects of noise.
(5) A nmce under this section shall be served on the person who
appears to the Minister to be canying out, or going to carry out, the
works, and on such other persons a m n g to the Minister to be
nsponsi3le for, or to haye control over, the carrying out of h e works.
(6) Anoncgundefthis sectionmay specify the the withiin which
the notiLe is to be complied with, and m y q u i r e ik exectition of
bsch w=:ks, and the taking of s ~ c h otha s + q s , as may be necessary
for the puppose of $he notice, or as m a y be specified irr the notice.
(7j A person sewed with a notice under this section may appeal
.igainst the norice to a Magistrate within twenty-one days from the
service of the noticz.
ANTIGUA 8 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. No. 10 of 1996.
(8) If a person on whom a notice is served under this section,
without reasonable excuse contravenes any requirement of the
Notice, he is guilty of an offence.
Prior consent 7. (1) Every person who intends to carry out any work of
for work of engineering conskction shall apply to the Minister for consent
constmaion. under this section.
(2') An application under this section shall contain particulars
(a) the works, and the method by which they are to be
camed out: and
(b) the steps proposed to be taken to minimise noise
resulting from the works.
(3) If the Minister considers that the application contains
sufficient information for the purpose and that, if the works are
carried out in accordance with the application, he would not serve
anotice under section 6 in respect of those works, the Minister shall
give his consent to the application.
(4) In acting under this section the Minister shall have regard to
the considerations set out in section 6(4) and shall have power t+-
(a) attach any conditions to his consent; and
(b) limit or qualify his consent to allow for any change in
(c) limit the duration of the consent; and any person who
knowingly canies out the works, or permits the works
to be carried out, in contravention of any condition
attached to a consent under this section is guilty of an
No. 10 of 1996. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 9 ANTIGUA
(5) The Minister shall inform the applicant of his decision on the
application within twenty-eight days from the receipt of the
application; and if the Minister gives his consent to the application
he may publish notice of the consent, and of the works to which it
relates, in such way as appears to him to be appropriate.
(6) If the Minister-
(a) does not reply within the said period of twenty-eight
days, an unconditionalconsent shallbe deemed tohave
been given to the applicant;
(b) gives his consent witbin thesaidperiodof twenty-eight
days, but attaches any condition, qualification or
limitation thereto, the applicant may appeal to a
Magistrate within twenty-one days of the end of that
(7) In any proceedings for an offence under section 6 (8) it shall
be adefence to prove that the alleged c o n t r a v e n t e
carrying out of the works in accordance with aconsent given under
(8) A consent given under this section shall contain a statement
to the effect that the consent does trot of itself constitute any ground
of defence against any proceedings instituted under section 5
(9) Where a consent has been given under this section and h e
works are camed out by a person other than the applicant for the
consent, it shall be the duty of the applicant to take all reasonable
steps to bring the consent to the notice of that person; and if the
applicant fails to comply with this subsection he is guilty of an
8. (1) Subject to any written law, any person who in a motor playing of musical
vehicle plays or operates or causes or permits the playing or i " ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ etc.s in
operation of any musical or noisy instrument or of any radlo or any
instrument, apparatus or device by means of which sounds may be
mechar~cdl y,electronically or electrically producedorreproduced,
SG as asto cause annoyance to any person in the vicinity thereof or, in
ANTIGUA 10 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996.
No. 10 of 1996.
the case of a public service vehicle, to any passenger in the motor
vehicle, is guilty of an offence.
(2) The driver of a motor vehicle in which a contravention of
subsection (1) takes place is guilty of an offence.
(3) It is a defencx for a person charged under subsection (2) to
prove that he was not present when the offence was committed or
that he took d1 reasonable steps to prevent the contravention.
Ncise in street. 9. (1) Subject to this Act a loudspeaker shall not be operated in
(a) between the hounof 12:001nidnight and 7:00 a.m. the
following m~rning for any purpose;
(b) at any other time, except for the purpose of a political
or public meeting or religious meeting or service;
Provided that the Commissioner of Police may grant permission
for the use of a loudspeaker in a sweet during such h e , for such
purposes and subject to such conditions as he may impose.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to the operation of a
a for police. fire brigade cr ambulance purposes, or by a
public utility in the exercise of any of its functions;
(b) for communicating with persons on a vessel for the
purpose of directing the movement of that or any other
(c) if Lfe loudspeaker forms part of a public teelepbs~tc
No. 10 of 1996. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 11 ANTIGUA
(d) if the loudspeaker-
(i) is in or fixed to a vehicle; and
(ii) is operated solely for the entertainment of or for
communicating with the driver or apassenger of
the vehcle or, where the loudspeaker is or forms
part of the horn or similar warning instrument
of the vehicle, solely for giving warning to other
(iii) is so operated as not to give reasonable cause for
annoyance to persons in the vicinity;
(e) in cases of emergency;
Cf) for such purposes as the Minister may, by Order
(3) Any person who contravenes this section is guilty of an
10. (1) The Minister may by Order designate as a noise Noiseabatement
abatement zone any area within a radius, specified in the Order of mne.
any building, or any other area where the Minister considers it in
the public interest to do so having regard to the character of the area.
(2) A noise abatement zone Order shall -
(a) describe and delimit the area to which the Order
(b) specify the days or hours of the day during which
persons are subject to control under section 11,
and, where the noise abatement zone Order is, in respect of an area
within the specified radius of any building, the noise abatement
zone Order shall describe and delimit tbe area by reference to the
building and to the radius.
ANTIGUA 12 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. No. 10 of 1996.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection 2(b) any building or other area
may be designated a noise abatement zone for a definite or an
Control of noise in 11. (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act to the contrary, no
nose abatement person whether within or outside a noise abatement zone, shall
zone. during the specified perid, cause or permit to be caused, noise so
as to cause annoyance to any person within anoise abatement zone.
(2) Subsection (I) does not apply t-
(a) noise caused by he operation of a loudspeaker for the
purposes of pdice, fxe brigade, anlbulance or the
armed forces of Antigua and Barbuda or in case of
(b) noise or continumce of noise caused by a person as a
result of some temporary or accidental cause which
could not have been prevented by the exercise of due
diligence and care on the part of that person; or
(c) noise caused by the horn of a vehicle for the purpose of
giving sufficient warning of the approach or position
of the vehicle.
(3) Any person who contravenes this section is guilty of an
So~se abatement 12, (1) The Minister may direct the Traffic Commissioner,
sigm appinted under section 4(1) of the Veh~cles Road Tr&ic ACL
ito cause or pemit appropriate noise abatement zone signs to be
placed, erected or stherwise marked on or near any street.
(2) The noise abatement zone signs shall be of such size, colow
and type as may be approved by the Traffic Commissioner and shall
inform the public that-
(a) they are approaching a noise abatement zone;
(b) they are in a noise abatement zone;
No. 10 of 1995. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. I3 &WIGUA
(c) they are leaving a noise abatement zone.
(3) Every noise almment mne sign emted, p h d , marked or
retained on or near any street shall, d s s the contrary is provedIr be
(a) to have hem Bawf~~lly SO erect& placed, mwked or
(b) to Ire of the approved type and substa~tidly of the
approved size a c t colour, where abe size, colour a1d
type of the sane have been approved.
(4) Subject to subsection (3, the Traffic Co&ssioner or a
person authorised by him in that behalf shall replace or maintain
noise abatement zone signs and may enter. any land near to or
adjoining a street to do so or to cut Ibraplches of trees or other
vegetation, or to remove my other ihing which obsc~ues or is likely
to cause damage to a noise abatement zone s~gn.
(5) The Traffic Camissioner or a prsor~ aut;~orised by him
skdI not enter mg land near to or adjoining a street to exercise his
fuxclion under subsection (4) untilafter the exp' tionof three days'
notice in1 writing, given to toe occupier of tb 7 bad or posted up
c~~nspicuously thereon, of the intention to do so.
(6) Any person who-
(a) u~niawfuily places, ezects, msb or removes or causes
to be p h d , erected, marked or removed a noise
abateaent zone sign on or neax a sweet; ~r
(b) defaces, damages, alters or obscures, or in my way
interferes with, any noise abatemen tzone sign lawfully
placed, erected, marked or retained on or near a street,
is liable on suatnary conviction to a fine of one
thousand dolHars and t~ impris~nment for six moaths.
ANTIGUA 14 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. No. 10 of 1996.
(7 j If any person owning or having any interest in any property
suffers pecuniary loss by reason of any damage to the property
resulting from the carrying out by the Traffic Commissioner of the
function mentioned in subsection (I), such person is entitled to
compensation in respect of the loss.
(8) If any difference arises between a person claiming
compensation under subsection (7) and the Traffic Commissioner
as to whether the person is entitled to any such compensation or as
to the amount of the compensation, such difference shall, on the
written application of the person or of the Attorney General, be
(a) if the amount of the compensation claimed does not
exceed ten thousand dollars, by a Magistrate; or
(b) if the amount of the compensation claimed is ten
thousand dollars or more by a judge of the High Court,
in like manner as if the Magistrate or the Judge were a single
arbitrator appointed pursuant to the Arbitration Act, and that Act
shall apply accordingly.
(9) Compensation payable under this section shall be defrayed
out of monies provided for the purpose by Parliament.
13. (1) If it appears to the Minister -
(a) that the level of noise emanating from any premises to
which anoiseabatementorderapplies isnot acceptable
having regard to the purposes for which the Order was
(b) that areduction in that level is practicable at reasonable
cost and would afford a public benefit, the Minister
may serve a notice on the person responsible.
(2) The notice shall require that person-
No. 10 of 1%. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 15 ANTIGUA
(a) to reduce the level of noise ernanzting from the
premises to such le\7elasmay1be specifidin the notice;
(b) to prevent any subsequent increase iYa the level of the
noise emanating from the% premises without the
consent of the Minister; and
(c) to such steps as may be specified in the notice to
achieve those piqmses.
(3) A notice under h s section (in this Act referred to as a "noise
reduction notice") shall specify a t h e , not being less than six
months from thedateof service ofthenotice, within which thenoise
level is to be reduced to the specified level and, where the noiice
splfied any steps necessary to achieve tha tpqse , within wbich
those steps shall be taken.
(4) Anoisereduction noticemay specify particular times, or days
during which the noise level is to be reduced. and may require the
noise level to be reduced to different levels for different limes or
(5) A p a o n who is served with a noise reduction notice may,
w&hn *&ex? months of the date of service, appd to a Masgistrate
agai~ist h e notice.
(6) A person who withoutaeasc9nable excuse conlr;;venes anc3ise
redmion nctice is guilty of an offence.
17) In p o d n g s for an offence under subsection (6) in respect
of A oise caused in the course of Grde or bilsiness, it is a defenec e ~ ?
pwve that the best ~mttcable means had ki~ used for preventiag
~~~circountera~tining the effect of thenoise and that the premises from
wcsich the noise is em:tnated is a place a a ~ respect d which the
i : ;in3 A~lthority ha; appros~e" the c i ~ ~ ; , - , g t3al ;f such trade 3r
24, (1) Provisions may be made by R e g u ~ o n s - Noise from plant
(a) for requiring the use, on or in connection with any
p h t or mxh~ery, of devices or arrangements for
reducing the mise caused by the p h t or machinery;
ANTIGUA 16 The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. No. 10 of 19%.
fb) for limiting the level of noise which may be caused by
any plant or machinery when used for works to which
section 5 applies or which may be caused outside a
factory by the use of plant or machinery in the factory;
andReguhtions under this sectionmay apply standard, specifications,
descriptions or tests laiddown in documents not forming part of the
(2) The Minister shall, before he makes Regulations under this
section consult persons appearing to him torepresent producers and
users of plant and machinery with a view to ensuring that the
Regulations do not contain requirements which, in his opinion,
would be impracticable or involve unreasonable expense.
(3) Any person who contravenes or causes or pennits another
person to contravene Regulations under this section is guilty of an
offence; but in any proceedings for a contravention of regulations
made in pursuance of subsection (1 )(a) it is a defence to prove that
means were used for the purpose of reducing the noise in question
which were not less effective for that purpose than the means
required by the Regulations.
(4) Nothing in this section or in Regulations under this section
shall be construed as derogating from any other provision of this
Codes of practice 15. For the purpose of giving guidance on appropriate methods
for minimising (including the use of specified types of plant or machinery) for
noise. minimising noise, the Minister may by Order -
(a) prepare and approve and issue codes of practice as in
his opinion are suitable for the purpose; and
(b) approve such codes of practice issued or proposed to be
issued otherwise than by the Minister as in the opinion
of the Minister are suitable for the purpose.
Penalty. 16. A person guilty of an offence against this Act for which no
penalty is provided, is liable on summary conviction -
No. 10 of 1996. The Noise Abatement Act, 1996. 17 ANTIGUA
(a) in the case of a first offence against this Act toa fme not
exceeding one thousand dollars; and
(b) in the case of a second or subsequent offence against
this Act, ma fine not exceeding three thousanddollars,
together, in case, with a further fine not exceeding two
hundred and fifty dollars for each day on which the
offence continues after the conviction.
Passed the House of Representatives Passed the Senate this 23rd
16th day of December, 19%. day of January, 1997.
S. Walker, S. Walker,
Clerk to the House of Representatives. Clerk to the Senate.
Printed at the Government Printing Office, Antigua and Barbuda
by Rupert Charity, Governn~emt Printer
-By Authority, 1997.
800-297 [ Price $6.80 1