Lockdown could be linked to 28 per cent rise in noise complaints
- Credit: PA
More than 100 complaints were recorded in East Cambridgeshire as noisy neighbours caused a headache during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
The district council recorded 171 noise complaints linked to neighbours between April 2020 and March this year, according to new figures.
That was 190 complaints for every 100,000 people.
The number of complaints rose from 134 the year before – a 28 per cent increase – as people across the area were confined to their homes for sustained periods of lockdown.
The year before the council received 151 complaints.
East Cambs also issued one noise abatement last year and one the year before. No fines have been issued.
There were 22 vehicle noise complaints received in 2020.
The council says it makes use of the ‘noise app’ which will allow you to record a nuisance noise on your mobile device and send it to the council.
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The council says it can then listen to the sound and decide what action is necessary.
The Noise App is free to download and easy to use.
“Please ensure you have filled in an online report form or spoken to an officer before you use the app to send in recordings,” says the council.
It has to approve cases as suitable for further investigation, prior to downloaded recordings being monitored.
A Freedom of Information request submitted to hundreds of local authorities by Churchill Home Insurance found there were more than 368,000 complaints about noisy neighbours lodged to 267 councils across the UK in 2020-21, a 28% rise from the previous year.
Steven Williams, from Churchill, said: "The pandemic has seen us confined to our homes which means we’ve probably all become very aware of noises around us.
"As we go into more of a ‘new normal’, many of us will carry on working from home, at least part of the time, so noisy neighbours will continue to be really disruptive.
“It may be the case that neighbours don’t realise they are being noisy, so the first step should always be speaking to them and explaining the problem.
"If that doesn’t work and they carry on, then keep a record of the type of noise and time of day and speak to your local council about raising a potential noise complaint.”
The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said councils were working to tackle the problem.
Nesil Caliskan, from the LGA, said: "With many people living in high density, urban areas, complaints about noise nuisance are common.
"Councils are doing what they can to respond to noise complaints in communities, and to tackle persistent behaviour that makes peoples’ lives a misery."
Based on the number of statutory nuisance complaints linked to neighbourly noise, the figures suggest the place with the noisiest neighbours in the UK was Kensington and Chelsea, where more than 15,000 complaints were made, roughly 9,900 for every 100,000 people.
The Government has assembled the Interdepartmental Panel on Costs and Benefits (Noise) to consider the implications of the latest evidence around noise and will use the findings to update Government guidance where necessary.
Local authorities are responsible for investigating complaints about issues that could be a statutory nuisance and have a duty to carry out inspections to detect and investigate nuisance complaints, including those concerning excessive noise.