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?


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?
    – 52d6c6af
    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
  • 1
    @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. Jun 25 '17 at 19:08

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