1

Is it legal in England to use voice amplification to communicate (without specific notification) religious rites (on a day significant to that group) such that it is audible to hundreds of domestic properties in the vicinity?

2

Religious rites have no specific significance in English law, and it may be that this broadcast is committing a nuisance; you should contact the local council for more details on how to complain. However, there seems to be a contradiction between 'without prior notification' and 'on a day significant to that group'. You can expect church bells to be rung on Sundays, just as you can expect farms to be busy and noisy around harvest; your right to quiet enjoyment does not prevent others using their property as it should be used.

If this religious organization wishes to mark a particular day by a broadcast for the first time, it is a matter for an Environmental Health Officer to balance their rights with those of the other residents, which will not be a simple matter and could potentially end up in court. If this has happened before, presumably the decision permitted the broadcast (possibly with some restrictions); it can only be changed by the council or by judicial review.

  • The church and farm examples are predicated on the prior existence of a church and a farm. If I live by a church then I can expect to hear church bells. Perhaps the analysis is different for situations where a group gathers in a public space (e.g. a park) and emits the noise? – Ben Jun 25 '17 at 14:21
  • It might matter if the group had a permit and/or how large the group was. – mkennedy Jun 25 '17 at 14:48
  • @Ben: If that's what you are asking about, you should edit it into the question. The landowner's permission would certainly be needed; if it is a council-owned park, presumably they take account of the noise when giving the permit, just as with fireworks displays. – Tim Lymington Jun 25 '17 at 19:08

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