Two of the first three posts on this blog, back in June 2006, were about Noise nuisance, and it is also an issue that has been raised during the recent Redbridge Streets Commission focus groups with residents, young people and elected members.
So, it was interesting to receive a timely report in my mailbox about a study on the UK’s noisiest council areas.
They asked each council to supply the number of complaints received in the last three years, along with the source of the noise; and created an interactive map of the results which can be found here: click for map.
As you might expect the most densely populated areas have the most complaints but I suspect that it may be an under reported issue, given the “I didn’t know about that” statements we’ve heard at the focus groups. So, here’s what to do in Redbridge – go to the Noise Nuisance page on the council website. CLICK LINK. There’s an enforcement team just waiting to help resolve the issue.
Redbridge is in the highest (colour deep red) category of 12+ complaints per 1,000 head of population but it’s only just over at 12.83. Kensington and Chelsea stand at 87.55 which is a little bit higher.
The main sources of nuisance noise last year were music, vehicle noise, people (shouting, singing etc.), barking dogs, and construction sites; however the study has also revealed a number of more interesting complaints.
Falkirk council had 4 incidents marked as 'bedroom antics', and in Mole Valley, one unhappy resident was kept up all night by 'African drumming'. Some more of the peculiar complaints received were regarding Morris dancers in Surrey, a Chinese man flying a radio controlled helicopter in South Wales, and a group of men playing football inside a flat in Brent.
Although a significant number of notices are served each year, criminal charges for nuisance noise appear to be uncommon, with only an estimated 0.14% of cases resulting in fines or convictions, which probably indicates that most situations can be resolved amicably.
Linda Firth, who organised the study, said, "Everybody likes a good party now and again, but if your neighbour is blasting out loud music every night, your local council is there to help resolve the situation. Nuisance noise can cause lack of sleep and significant distress, so it is best to take action before it impacts your health."