Family of man killed over ‘crow banger’ claim justice has not been done

The family of a Kerry farmer killed by his neighbour in a dispute over the use of a loud crow banger on his land say they don’t feel justice has been served.

 

Michael Ferris from Rattoo in Ballyduff was jailed for five years today for the manslaughter of Anthony O’Mahony in April 2017.

Anthony O’Mahony’s niece Ann O’Carroll believes the jury got it wrong when they cleared Michael Ferris of murder.

The 63-year-old admitted killing his neighbour by ramming his teleporter into his car while he was trying to pass on a narrow country road, but he denied murder claiming he “just snapped” after over 30 years of provocation.

The trial heard they lived and farmed together in the small rural community and Mr. O’Mahony had a crow banger on his land that would go off every four and a half minutes.

Ferris told Gardaí it was so loud it would “wake the dead” and he felt he had to do something about it.

He was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for five years today – afterwards, Ms. O’Carroll said she didn’t feel justice had been served and she described the trial process as “distressing”.

 

Residents renew noise complaints as Palmer racetrack seeks permit change

Palmer Motorsports Park manager Fred Ferguson, at left, speaking at the Sept. 24, 2018 Palmer Planning Board meeting  (JIM RUSSELL PHOTO)

PALMER — More complaints about noise from Whiskey Hill Raceway were voiced by residents during Monday’s Planning Board meeting, but the track’s manager said mitigation measures have been put in place and more action could be taken to lessen the noise.

Since the 2.3-mile Palmer Motorsports Park racetrack opened in 2015, Ware, Warren and Palmer residents have complained about noise.

Fred Ferguson, the racetrack’s manager, said at Monday’s meeting that a thousand feet of “acoustic fabric” has been installed to dampen sound.

“We are prepared to put up more,” he said.

A number of residents attending the meeting said noise problems continue, and they questioned a recent sound study, saying it was completed on a day when the track was not at its loudest.

An attorney representing the town of Palmer said that, unlike previous sound studies, this one measured decibel levels of loud noise in the moment, rather than as an average over the course of a day.

Ware Planning Board Chairman Richard Starodoj also attended the meeting, as did Ware Town Manager Stuart Beckley.

“There is a constant drone” in some sections of town but not in others, Staradoj said. He recommended additional “points in Ware” from which to measure the noise.

“Some (days) are louder than others,” Palmer Planning Board Chairman Michael Marciniec said, alluding to results he gleaned from the recent sound study.

Monday’s hearing was convened to act on Palmer Motorsports Park’s request to amend its operating permit to remove language defining sound limits. The amended language proposed by Ferguson would require “actual noise” to be in compliance with “state regulations.”

At the time the raceway was approved, the Planning Board required the track to scientifically estimate how much noise would migrate off site. If reference to that “project model” were removed, according to the Planning Board, criteria to determine whether the track is too loud would no longer be part of the operating permit.

No decision was made on Ferguson’s request during Monday’s meeting. The Planning Board continued the public hearing until Nov. 26.

By Jim Russell, Mass Live, to read it click here.

 

Noisy neighbours sparked half of all complaints to Northern Ireland councils

More than half of almost 23,000 nuisance complaints made to councils across Northern Ireland in a year related to excessive noise

Noisy neighbours accounted for 56% of the 22,919 complaints made between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.

Disputes over plants made up 22% of all complaints, with issues relating to light, animals and air pollution accounting for a combined 17%.

The statistics were compiled by Churchill Home Insurance.

The high volume of statutory nuisance complaints, which equates to 63 every day and almost three an hour, was 35% less than the previous year in Northern Ireland – and across the entire UK there was a reduction of 2.4%.

Churchill Home Insurance boss Martin Scott expressed concern over the number of complaints, which amounted to over half a million in all four regions of the UK.

“It is a worrying indictment of modern society that so many people are failing to take responsibility for their communities, keeping noise and other disturbances to a minimum.

“Living next to a poorly maintained property, or loud and disruptive neighbours, can not only be a harrowing ordeal but could also affect the long-term value of your home if you were to look to sell,” he commented.

According to the figures obtained from over 320 councils across the UK, only 663 (5%) of the 12,835 noise complaints here resulted in a Noise Abatement Notice being issued by a council.

A breach of the notice – which gives councils power to stop or restrict the nuisance by seizing or confiscating equipment and applying to the High Court for an injunction – can result in prosecution and fines.

The statistics show that in the 12 months up to July 2017 there were a dozen breaches in Northern Ireland, with the average fine here amounting to £114 compared to £528 for the 624 breaches elsewhere in the UK.

Belfast City Council dealt with 12 breaches, the highest number of all councils.

Mr Scott warned that council enforcement of environmental regulations is “crucial” to stop the actions of inconsiderate people from blighting the lives of others.

“Living next to a noisy neighbour can be extremely debilitating and have a serious impact on the mental well-being of the victim,” he said.

Northern Ireland ranked 11th out of all regions within the United Kingdom when it came to the number of statutory nuisance complaints logged in 2016/17.

London came in at number one after accounting for almost a third of the 577,563 complaints made in the same period.

It was closely followed by the South East of England where councils received 79,307 complaints about issues ranging from noise disruption to rubbish accumulation which caused a disturbance to other residents.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

How are noise complaints handled in NYC?:

City officials can order an activity stopped if the resulting noise exceeds regulations.

Residents can make noise complaints about unruly construction

 

The joke in New York City is that there are two seasons: winter and construction.

Residents in other cities quip the same, but the idiom rings truest here, where New Yorkers filed more than 446,000 noise-related complaints in 2017, the most common reports coming via 311. Those complaints flag loud construction sites, car and truck horns but even more typically “loud parties” or music.

For New Yorkers woken up to the sounds of jackhammers in the morning, the city’s Noise Codeprotects its residents from such sonic assaults. And, earlier this year, the City Council passed a bill sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos that aims to limit construction noise—particularly during overnights and weekends.

New construction projects need to abide by a lower sound limit when working after hours — before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. — during the business week and anytime on weekends. Before the law passed, crews were not permitted to make noise above 85 decibels within 200 feet of a residence. That limit will drop to 75 decibels in 2020 under the new rules.

Listening to sustained, repeated sounds “at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss,” according to the National Institutes of Health. For comparison, a normal conversation has a decibel level around 60 decibels; a jackhammer is around 110 decibels and a nearby jet takeoff would be at roughly 130 decibels.

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection offers a summary guide to the code online and Edward Timbers, a DEP spokesman, helped answer some common questions on rules around noise violations:

Under current laws, what levels of noise are permissible in residential New York City areas and when?

According to the NYC Noise Code, the level of noise that is permissible depends largely on the level of ambient noise in the area.

If a report of unreasonable noise comes to DEP, an inspector will be sent to the location to take readings of both the ambient levels of noise, and the level of noise with the offending activity, whether it be construction, a barking dog or an HVAC unit.

The Noise Code sets out parameters for each particular activity, and how much noise it may legally create above the ambient level.  A noisy party may result in a visit by NYPD, who will determine whether the noise is reasonable, or not.

What protections are in place to ensure that construction contractors meet those noise regulations?

All construction projects must file a noise mitigation plan and take all reasonable steps to limit the amount of noise they create. If a certain activity is creating an unreasonable amount of noise, a recently passed law authorizes DEP to order the activity to be stopped until the excessive noise is abated.

And what penalties are in place for contractors, or individual residents, who violate noise regulations?

A Notice of Violation issued by DEP carries penalties ranging from $50 to $24,000.  A repeat offender who shows no willingness to remedy an unreasonably noisy situation could be issued a cease and desist order from the courts.

 

Source: AM Network

 

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

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

 

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.