Shock research: Noisy neighbours making 1 in 6 Brits move home

New research reveals that one in six Brits have had to move in order to escape noise pollution.

The research, carried out for home improvement specialists Everest, also worryingly found that 46 per cent of Brits are woken, or kept awake, at least once a week by noise from outside.

The extraordinary findings emerged following a comprehensive study on 2000 UK adults, who reveal a series of nightmares, with noisy neighbours, anti-social behaviour, out-of-control pets and loud traffic noise.  Those affected claim to be disrupted on average seventy nights a year – and fears are growing that a generation of sleepless Brits are risking their health.

Noise pollution can be a particular problem for estate and letting agents to tackle, however the impact on tenants can be huge.

Health problems

Those suffering from lack of sleep describe mood swings, temper tantrums and an inability to concentrate properly, and say that the problem affects their performance at work, as well as their confidence and mood,

Commenting on the findings, psychologist and TV expert Emma Kenny said,

“In the modern age, where life is fast paced and where the work-life balance can feel challenging, finding sanctuary is more important than ever. Noise disturbance is annoying at the best of times, but more importantly it can cause health issues when it interferes with our sleep patterns.

“Getting an uninterrupted and peaceful night’s sleep ensures we are physically and emotionally rested and allows our bodies to heal from the stresses and strains of modern day living. If the noise outside is affecting our ability to rest and relax, we are likely to experience a whole host of negative issues, including irritability, lack of focus and exhaustion, which can impact on every aspect of our life. That’s why it’s imperative to create a relaxing space, with as little noise pollution as possible.”

 

How agents can resolve noise complaints

Noise complaints are often the bane of estate agents lives, as tenants will often turn to them first.  A spokeman for Move.UK.Let says if the noisy neighbour is also renting through the same landlord, they can sometimes help – after all, good tenants can be hard to find.

“Tenants will normally have a clause in their Tenancy Agreement prohibiting them from actions and/or behaviour that cause a nuisance to their neighbours. Lettings agents will notify the tenants that they have had complaints (this can be anonymous).”

When a tenant leaves, agents should be aware if they have been previous complaints about noise in the property, they should be careful to not misrepresent the property to the next tenant.  Under the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a tenant has a right to ‘unwind’ a tenancy where the tenant has been induced to enter into the contract by an unfair practice. This would include telling untruths about the tenancy – for example, that it is a quiet property when it is not.   In such cases, the new tenant can bring civil proceedings to end the tenancy and recover their fees within the first 90 days.

 

Contacting the local council

If an estate agent is unable to resolve the issue, they should advise their tenant to contact the council.  Under the Noise Act 1996 and other associated legislation, the local council must investigate any noise that is deemed to be a ‘nuisance’.  If the offender’s noise is deemed a nuisance, then the Council can issue an Abatement Notice.  The notice will stipulate that either the noise must stop completely, be reduced to a certain level, or is only permitted during certain times of the day.

If the neighbour fails to comply with the notice, they can be fined up to £5,000 (or up to £20,000 if it’s a business creating the noise).  Any device such as a sound system can also be seized by an Environmental Health Officer or the police for up to 28 days until the court decides what should be done with it.

 

Many feel moving is the only option

Researchers also found many people saying moving was their only option, with 16% of people saying they moved home already because of noise, and an additional 5% saying it is something they are looking at – and 14 per cent said they would have moved house if they could.

Martin Troughton, Marketing Director at Everest, says,

“While many of us will know from personal experience that a disturbed night’s sleep can have a detrimental impact on how we feel the next day, the scale of the issue identified through this research is something of a surprise. Almost half of the adults in this country are being affected by noise every week, which is having a huge influence on their mood and overall state of mind. The fact that more than a third of us have moved home or considered it due to noise from outside is simply staggering.

“Although over two thirds of those surveyed said they wouldn’t ask the person creating the disturbance to keep the noise down, there are other things they can do to mitigate the problem. Landlords can fit sound-reducing products, such as windows made with laminated acoustic glass, which will help to reduce the noise, as well as potentially improving the property’s energy efficiency and security.”

Source: Estate Agent News

National Protocol for Dealing with Noise Complaints for Local Authorities

EPA Review
It has been recognised for some years that there is a need for a more integrated approach to addressing noise issues in Ireland. While the current legal provisions governing this area have been in place since 1992, it has become increasingly clear that there is significant variation in how local authorities approach interpreting and implementing these provisions. Following extensive consultation and discussion the EPA carried out a review of how Local Authorities were dealing with noise complaints in June 2013. The review concluded that various different approaches were being used with over 80% agreeing that a common consistent approach across Local Authorities is required.

One of the recommendations arising out of the review was the establishment of a noise working group within the NIECE network, to progress the development of a national approach. A Noise Bill was originally proposed in 2006 to deal with a number of noise sources including neighbourhood noise. Whilst the Bill has not been enacted to date, it remained on subsequent programmes for government. While not included in the current programme for government, in the absence of a comprehensive Noise Bill, this document provides the necessary guidance to Local Authorities, given existing legislation, as to what is considered Best Practice for dealing with noise complaints.

 

To read the National Protocol, please click on the image below:

NIECE

Owners pulled plug after noise complaint

Owners pulled plug after noise complaint

Caroline Davenport, left, and Elaine Gibson, right, and many other customers protest against the decision
Caroline Davenport, left, and Elaine Gibson, right, and many other customers protest against the decision

Hundreds of people are backing a bid to return live music to a Cockermouth pub.

The Fletcher Christian on Main Street has had no live entertainment for the last two weekends.
The pub’s owner, Craft Union Pub Company, decided to suspend such events after a complaint was made to Allerdale council about excessive noise.

The pub has been forced to cancel its planned entertainment, including bands scheduled to play over Easter weekend, while the company works to resolve the issue.

Regulars Caroline Davenport and Elaine Gibson were so concerned that they set up a petition calling for the return of live entertainment to the popular venue.

The petition, which was launched last week, has attracted more than 1,000 signatures and, Caroline said, has been backed but almost all the businesses on Main Street.

Caroline, who worked in the pub trade before retiring, said: “It’s an absolute travesty. This has been a music venue for a long time.

“It’s the only real place in town that does rock and blues and it’s got a huge following. It’s been like that for 20 years that I know of.”

Ahead of Easter, pub staff took to Facebook asking people to support the venue despite its problems, and people flocked to make it a good weekend.

Caroline, who worked in the pub trade for years, said: “People rallied round and it was absolutely fantastic. It was a bouncing weekend.

“That’s not sustainable though. Without the live music they’re not going to make enough revenue to stay open.

“We just hope the company takes notice and reinstates it as soon as possible. I don’t think they realise what it’s doing to the pub.

“If Fletcher’s was to close you might as well close Cockermouth, it’s that important.”

Elaine added: “We need it back. The town’s dying and we need something to bring life back into it.”

Leena Barua, another regular, said: “There aren’t many good venues for music left in Cockermouth now.”

An Allerdale council spokesman said: “Some concerns have been raised regarding the establishment meeting the conditions of the licence, so the licence holder has taken the decision to cease any live music until the issue is resolved.

“Our environmental health officers will work with The Fletcher Christian to ensure these conditions are met.”

A spokesman for Craft Union Pub Company said: “Following discussions with the local council, we took the decision to cease live entertainment at The Fletcher Christian pub for the foreseeable future.

“We are aware of the petition to reinstate live music at the venue and would like to reassure customers that we remain in contact with the council and hope to resolve the matter as soon as possible.”

Source: News & Star

LOUD CROWDS Church bells, rowdy shoppers, and motorbikes – Ireland’s wildest noise complaints revealed in investigation

Noisy neighbours beware: noise complaints from church bells to rowdy crowds in a local pub are revealed in an Irish Sun investigation.

Noise complaints revealed from gripers across Ireland

And rowdy supermarket shoppers caused dismay to a Co Sligo resident.

An Irish Sun investigation reveals almost 3,500 sound gripes were received by 15 of the biggest city and county councils across the country from 2015 to 2017. Neighbours and residents filed more than 1,000 complaints while the rest of the grumbles related to businesses, traffic and entertainment events.

A Sligo resident vented fury over a church’s bells ringing, while another complained about noise from a local pub.

Another Yeats County local moaned about barking dogs and generators at a halting site, while a report was also filed over bangers being ignited at a nearby farmland. Another complainant was driven mad by a neighbouring lawn repair business.

In Dublin city, most whines related to businesses playing loud music, alarms going off, construction work, roadworks and traffic noise.

Officials from South Dublin County Council received 521 gripes over the two years. A spokesman said: “The predominant reason for the making of complaints was the nuisance being felt because of the loudness.”

The documents were obtained via a Freedom of Information request.

People also reported illegal burning and the burning of smoky coals, which is banned in larger towns.

Donegal alone had 176 complaints over neighbours and businesses torching waste from 2015 to 2017. A further 17 were made about people burning smoky coal.

Dublin City Council received 30 complaints in 2016 and 50 in 2017 about burning or ­illegal hazardous material.

In Limerick 321 complaints were made about burning and 43 about smoky coal.

South Dublin County Council received 350 complaints about air pollution, of which 199 related to illegal burning and nine to smoky coal.

Kerry had 147 complaints about burning illegal and hazardous material. Cork City had 73 air pollution complaints.

 

Source: The Irish Sun.

Gosport bar owner fined £10,000 over ‘thudding’ noise complaints

Ben Bartrip outside of The Victualler.''Picture: Will Rooney

Ben Bartrip outside of The Victualler.”Picture: Will Rooney

Source: The News.

Ben Bartrip, owner of The Victualler Harbourside Bar & Restaurant in Royal Clarence Yard, Gosport, was this week found guilty. Magistrates fined him £1,000 for each charge, and ordered him to pay £6,026.25 prosecution costs to the council – as well as a £100 victim surcharge.

The news comes after Bartrip’s company 88 75 Ltd, of Weevil Lane, was fined £20,000 in December last year at Portsmouth Crown Court for failing to remove benches outside the venue. Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court this week heard how rock bands were playing live music at the venue that resulted in neighbours’ floors vibrating and words to songs being clearly audible from apartments nearby. A marquee had also been put up to stage events. Bartrip, 42, of Weevil Lane, Gosport, denied four charges failing to comply with noise abatement notices relating to August, October and November last year. Speaking to The News after the case, Bartrip said: ‘It is a huge blow and is a real same because this area could be a thriving site like Gunwharf Quays, but it feels like some people don’t want that to happen.’

Read more at: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime/gosport-bar-owner-fined-10-000-over-thudding-noise-complaints-1-8389162

 

Council ‘can’t cope’ with noise complaints

Source: Irish Examiner, Sean O’Riordan

Many residents in Co Cork are experiencing excessive noise pollution as a monitoring agency lacks sufficient personnel to enforce legislation, described as “inadequate”.

Cork County Council, tasked with monitoring noise pollution, admits to being “snowed under” and not having the manpower to deal with complaints.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton demanded the Government should initiate a comprehensive review of national environmental noise legislation, with a view to setting statutory limit values for excessive environmental noise levels based on recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

She said excessive noise in some areas was leading to sleep deprivation, stress and mental health.

Cllr D’Alton claimed an estimated 250,000 people in Ireland live with excessive noise levels and, of those, 100,000 suffered sleep disturbance from traffic.

Cllr Mary Rose Desmond said noise levels on a busy HGV Cork-Ringaskiddy route, especially around the Broomfield area, were a real eye-opener for her.

“It’s so bad people can no longer leave their windows open,” she said.

Cllr Anthony Barry, who sits on the council’s Environment Special Purposes Committee, said trees had been removed along the M25 Cork-Midleton road and M8 in Glanmire which had increased noise levels for local householders. He said no significant sound barriers had been put in place to rectify the problem.

Meanwhile, Cllr Deirdre Forde pointed out people living in the suburb of Douglas were also suffering excessive noise from passing traffic and said the council’s enforcement section was snowed under with complaints from all over the county.

The council’s deputy chief executive Declan Daly said it would not be realistic to expect the council to apply low noise surfaces to all of its 12,600km of roads.

In a report, Louis Duffy, head of the council’s Environment Directorate, said he was in favour of a government review of current noise limits.

He said the primary legislation dates back to the early 1990s. An updated bill was proposed in 2006 but never enacted, he said.

Mr Duffy said environment directorate staff took part in a national working group which developed a protocol for dealing with noise complaints for local authorities.

Supported by the EPA, it includes a recommendation that local authorities develop and adopt individual noise complaint management policies.

A draft policy will be brought to the council’s Environment Special Purposes Committee for consideration later this year.
Source: Irish Examiner

 

First release of Noise Data (6 month) Interval 1

Thank you to all 140 respondents who took part in logging their noise complaint. The statistics are as follows:

Please enter your county/area:

 

Please use the menu below to describe the source of noise:

 

When does the noise occur?

  • 71% said Daytime
  • 57% said Evening
  • 78.6% said Night

Note: Many complaints occurred daytime, evening and night, hence the % distribution.

 

Have you reported this noise complaint to any local authority, the EPA, DAA or TII?

  • 8% reported the noise to the EPA
  • 0% reported the noise to the DAA
  • 7 % reported the noise to TII
  • 15% reported to the the noise Local Authority
  • 3% reported to the dog warden
  • Others did not report it.
  • 1% said they were afraid to report it or did not want to report it.

 

All respondents agreed to the terms and conditions associated with the use of this data.

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Ireland noise complaints on the rise – but where’s the loudest?

Noise complaints are on the rise in Northern Ireland.

Noise complaints across Northern Ireland are on the rise, official government figures show.

Overall complaints rose by 13% – in 2016/17 12,105 complaints were received about excessive noise compared to 10,754 the previous year.

And the biggest source of noise, according to those having their ears bashed, comes from householders themselves. Loud music, televisions, parties and animal noise contributed to 80% of all complaints.

While noise from pubs and clubs was the next biggest complaint made.

“The 13% rise in complaints does not necessarily equate to worsening noise pollution,” the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs said.

“The increase may be due to individuals becoming more susceptible to noise or more aware of who they should complain to when they experience noise problems.

“Councils have a number of courses of action open to them when dealing with noise complaints. Informal warnings are frequently used but formal options include service of a notice, prosecution and seizure of noise making equipment.

“Education, through the Noise Statistics Report, activities during Noise Action Week and the general work of district councils, is considered the most appropriate way of preventing noise issues.”

Belfast was the council area to receive the highest number of complaints with nearly 7,000. It issued 547 notices.

Noise complaints received by council area:

Belfast: 6,942

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon: 831

Antrim and Newtownabbey: 578

Newry, Mourne and Down: 576

Derry and Strabane: 554

Causeway Coast and Glens: 519

Ards and North Down: 513

Lisburn and Castlereagh: 468

Mid Ulster: 438

Mid and East Antrim: 388

Fermanagh and Omagh: 298

Belfast Telegraph Digital

 

Source: Belfast Telegraph.

 

Noise complaints at Dublin Airport increased by almost a fifth in 2017

Noise complaints at Dublin Airport increased by a whopping 19% last year.

Figures published by the airport showed 1,194 reports of excessive noise from airplane landing and take-offs.

This was a massive jump from the 1,003 complaints made in 2016.

The reason for the stark rise is down to more use of the second runway at the airport.

According to the Times, the second runway was used more at night while the main runway was being upgraded.

An airport spokesman told the paper that flight paths and landing approaches took jets over more populated areas when using the second runway.

The daa reportedly traced two thirds of the complaints to the use of the second runway, with most being linked to when a southern approach was used.

The spokesman said: “The vast majority of these were due to night work on the main runway’s overlay project and its subsequent non-availability for flight operations.

“While the number of flight movements at Dublin has increased in recent years, the advent of new, quieter, aircraft types has brought substantial reductions in aircraft noise.”

The number of complaints on the main runway fell by 44 %.

The daa figures also show that the 1,194 complains were lodged by just 423 people.

A noise and flight track monitoring system costing €1million has been introduced to ensure minimum noise disruption.

Source: Dublin Live.

 

 

Belfast second worst city for UK noise complaints

By Rebecca Black

DEFRA Northern Ireland

 

Belfast is the second noisiest city in the UK, according to the number of complaints received by local councils.

Freedom of Information Act requests sent to 253 local authorities across the UK reveal that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea received the most complaints – 34,910 – between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2017.

The main cause for complaint was music, followed by building work and buskers.

Belfast was second, with 17,480 complaints in the same period.

The least number of complaints were made in the Isles of Scilly (40) and the Outer Hebrides (40).

Matt Carey, head of digital marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, which carried out the research, said: “Anyone struggling with noisy neighbours this winter should look at straightforward soundproofing techniques in their home.”

The company provides tips online on helping homeowners to do this at www.anglianhome.co.uk/goodtobehome/home-news/home-health.

Belfast Telegraph