CIEH has today published the results of its flagship noise survey, which provides the only source of information on the vital contribution made by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) working to resolve noise complaints in England.
As the only source of local authority noise complaints data in England, the CIEH survey is a vital resource for public health policy makers. Data from the CIEH survey is being used by Public Health England for the Public Health Outcomes Framework, which establishes an important link between noise and health outcomes.
Key figures for England (figures represent 143 local authorities, 45% of local authorities in England):
- A total of 143,054 noise complaints were recorded by these local authorities, 61 complaints for every 10,000 people
- 2,543 notices were served by these local authorities, one notice for every 10,000 people.
- There were 101 noise-related prosecutions
- Overall, local authorities allocated 0.2 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) professionals to deal with noise complaints per 10,000 population
Greater London had the highest number of noise complaints, 183 for every 10,000 people, more than double the national average. Local authorities in Greater London also served the most notices, four for every 10,000 people. South West England had the lowest number of noise complaints, roughly half of the national average, at 35 for every 10,000 people.
Residential noise accounted for the largest proportion of noise complaints. This was the case across all regions in England, except in the South East, where noise from construction, commercial and leisure premises were greater sources of complaints.
Other sources of noise complaints recorded by local authorities include noise from the street, vehicles, machinery and equipment, dogs, agriculture, alarms, military, traffic, aircrafts and railways.
Compared with the last time CIEH collected noise data in 2015/16, the 2018/19 data shows a 9% increase in the number of noise complaints in the 65 local authorities which participated in the survey in both years.
Noise is the single largest issue of complaint made to local authorities in the UK, and according to the World Health Organisation, noise is a disease burden that is second in magnitude only to that from air pollution.
Anne Godfrey, CIEH Chief Executive, said:
“These figures remind us that noise continues to be a major issue of complaint made to local authorities across England.
Noise has profound impacts on people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) are on the frontline of resolving noise complaints and deserve recognition for their important contribution to supporting and protecting the nation’s public health.
I would like to thank all the local authorities which participated in our survey, without whom we would not be able to provide this vital data source. Looking forwards, we plan to continue to collect and use this information to ensure the health impacts of noise are considered in national policy decisions.”