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

Belfast Telegraph

Noisy Neighbours UK – Our Survey Results Revealed

Background and Purpose
Initial Findings
Regional Data
Benchmarking Data
Inherent Variation
Future Developments


Our 2014 Noisy Neighbours UK survey revealed some interesting information about the numbers of noise complaints being received by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We asked each local authority in the UK how many noise complaints they received, how much enforcement action they took and about officer staffing levels.  Data was provided by 340 respondents out of the 374 local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (a response rate of 91%). During the course of the research we have compared the data received to government data and national indicies; and are able to outline some interesting findings (due to differing noise enforcement mechanisms in Scotland we excluded their data from the survey).

As well as locating the UK’s noisiest local authority areas our survey set out to determine whether we were able to make any meaningful comparison between local authority noise complaint and enforcement activity.


422,250 noise complaints were received by local authorities responding to the survey (predominantly environmental health departments) in the 2013-2014 financial period.

On average 1.7 abatement notices were served by each Council (for noise) for every 100 complaints received. 24 Councils were identified as having served no notices at all. There were an average of 3.85 officers working in each Borough each responsible for investigating an average of 385 complaints. Many of these officers were responsible for carrying out a number of other tasks in addition to noise investigations.

With the data we were able to rank local authority areas in terms of the number of complaints received and rate of enforcement action taken. Some regional data is available below. The results provide an initial snapshot of how local authority areas compare regionally.


To find out more, click here.