St Helens named as one of the noisiest towns in the region

New research has found St Helens has one of the highest proportions of noise complaints in the region
New research has found St Helens has one of the highest proportions of noise complaints in the region

Whisper it ... but St Helens is one of the noisiest places in the North West, according to new research.

Figures produced by noise monitoring experts Cirrus Research found St Helens had the second highest proportion of complaints.

There were nine complaints for every 1,000 person in the town.

The total number of complaints during 2015 was 917 from a population of 102,629.

Researchers used Freedom of Information requests to uncover the findings.

The statistics put Bury top of the noisy neighbour poll with 647 complaints over the 12 months covering a population of 55,800 - the equivalent of approximately 12 complaints per 1,000 head.

And the quietest was Stockport with 685 complaints across the year in a population of 283,275 or 2.5 complaints per 1,000 residents.

The vast majority of issues logged related to noisy neighbours, shouting or playing loud music in the home, followed by barking dogs and then errant car or home alarms being triggered. Manchester Borough had complaints about noise from clubs and bars amongst its top three.

Thomas Shelton, Cirrus’ marketing manager, said: “We work with many local authorities and housing associations which have to deal with the complaints daily about noise nuisance.

“They have to a duty to investigate each allegation, see if there is any substance, gather evidence and then take action.

“What one person thinks is acceptable could drive someone else crazy so noise enforcement teams have a difficult job at the best of times.

“We conducted our research based on complaints per 1,000 population to get a more accurate picture so whilst on paper Manchester Borough received more complaints than Bury, it has a much larger and denser population so that has to be taken into account to get a true picture.”

Cirrus Research also asked how many of those complaints ended up being prosecuted or convicted – with seven cases ended up in court across the whole of the North West region.

The vast majority were resolved using mediation or warnings.

Tom added: “Cirrus has been making noise nuisance monitors for more than 30 years and we have seen certain trends emerging over more recent years.

“With noise nuisance, people are now much more aware of their rights and more likely to complain than grin and bear it. Elderly people are also more likely to complain as they spend more time in doors, and with more homes now having wooden or laminate floors and wall-mounted TVs, we are seeing more domestic complaints as there is less to insulate the noise within the home.”

The total number of complaints for the whole of the North West came in at 39,960 for 2015. Greater Manchester local authorities accounted jointly for 11,222 of those, or 28 per cent of the total.