Inconsiderate neighbours trigger noise complaints

Stress: Most complaints are about noisy neighbours
Stress: Most complaints are about noisy neighbours
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Inconsiderate neighbours are the biggest source of noise misery in Preston.

Figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request show Preston City Council received more than 1,070 noise related complaints in each of the last three years.

The top sources of woe last year were music, with 472 complaints, and dogs, which triggered 175.

There was an increase in complaints about burglar alarms, though complaints about construction and demolition have fallen.

Craig Sharp, assistant director and chief environmental health officer, said: “Disturbance from noise can have a serious impact upon our health. There is obvious problems caused by a lack of sleep and the impact that has on health as well as things like our ability to drive and work safely. There is also the hidden impact that it has on mental health.

“Around 90 per cent of the noise complaints relate to noise from neighbours.

“Around half are to do with the playing of loud music and that is frustrating as clearly it is something that could be avoided if people had a bit more respect for their neighbours.

He added around 10 per cent relate to disturbances caused by businesses or construction.

He said: “Many people respond positively when we tell them they are causing a problem to their neighbours, but in some cases we need to gather evidence by installing noise monitoring equipment or visiting the premises to hear the noise for ourselves. If an informal solution cannot be found we will deal with a statutory nuisance formally using an abatement notice, confiscation, prosecution or licence review.

“The causes vary enormously. The law recognises some noise from businesses may be inevitable, but it does expect reasonable measures to minimise disturbance.

“The solution can often be an easy one. Other things may take time to resolve; for example training a dog not to bark too much or a factory that has to design and install silencers to a noisy piece of equipment.”