Council helping to keep the noise down

Hundreds of complaints have been made about noisy neighbours
Hundreds of complaints have been made about noisy neighbours
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Nearly 1,000 complaints were made about noisy neighbours to St Helens Council last year.

A freedom of information request to the authority revealed that 830 complaints were made by residents about loud music, alarms going off and domestic arguments in 2012/13.

As well as general anti-social behaviour other complaints included more than 300 inquiries about dogs constantly barking and 144 about loud music.

The figures revealed that Parr and Haydock were the areas in which the most complaints were made.

A breakdown of the complaints to the council’s environmental health department, obtained by the St Helens Reporter, sets out the problems often faced by residents.

They range from the mundane to the more unusual. Among the more surprising entries include three complaints about church bells, four about shooting, and four about excessively loud PA systems. The figures all relate to a period between January and November last year.

By far the biggest complaint received by St Helens Coucil related to barking dogs. There were more than 300 complaints about noisy pets, with 144 complaints about the next most common type, complaints about loud music.

A council spokesman said: “The council’s Environmental Health Section receives many noise complaints each year, which are all investigated as potential statutory nuisances.

“Noise accounts for the majority of nuisance complaints and is the number one environmental anti-social behaviour complaint received - so complaints are taken very seriously.

“Persistent noise nuisance can - and does - affect the quality of peoples’ lives and can directly affect health and wellbeing. The majority of complaints are resolved informally by issuing advice and warnings.

“However Environmental Health will take formal action and serve a noise abatement notice to deal with persistent and serious noise nuisance offenders.

“Ultimately, if a noise abatement notice is not complied with, officers can prosecute offenders in court and, additionally, may enter properties under warrant to seize noise making equipment. If convicted, residents can face fines of up to £5,000 and businesses up to £20,000.”

If you are being affected by noise nuisance, contact Environmental Health on 01744 676789.