Almost 1,000 complaints over noisy neighbours in lockdown

A new supermarket is set to be built in Halesworth town centre Picture: MIKE PAGE

One Halesworth couple were asked to stop playing loud music in the early weeks of the first national lockdown. - Credit: Archant

More than 900 complaints were recorded in East Suffolk as noisy neighbours caused a headache during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

East Suffolk Council recorded 985 noise complaints linked to neighbours between April 2020 and March this year, according to new figures.

That was 393 complaints for every 100,000 people .

The number of complaints soared from 880 the year before – a 12pc increase – as people across the area were confined to their homes for sustained periods during lockdown.

While many communities rallied together in lockdown, one Halesworth couple found themselves the source of "a number of complaints" after attempting to entertain neighbours in April 2020.

The couple, who did not want to be named when speaking to this newspaper last year, would play songs requested by neighbours through speakers every Sunday between 2pm and 3.30pm and claimed the music "raised the town's spirits."


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The council did not take enforcement action, but asked the couple to "stop playing loud music and think of those it might affect."

A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said: "There has been a slightly higher number of complaints about nuisance noise over the past year.

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"However, this is to be expected with people still spending more time at home, working from home or taking their holidays at home.

"As always, we would remind residents of the importance of being a good neighbour and considering other people when doing DIY, playing music or using garden machinery.”

A Freedom of Information request submitted to hundreds of local authorities by Churchill Home Insurance found there were more than 368,000 complaints about noisy neighbours lodged to 267 councils across the UK in 2020-21, a 28pc rise from the previous year.

The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said councils were working to tackle the problem.

Nesil Caliskan, from the LGA, said: "With many people living in high density, urban areas, complaints about noise nuisance are common.

"Councils are doing what they can to respond to noise complaints in communities, and to tackle persistent behaviour that makes peoples’ lives a misery."

The Government has assembled the Interdepartmental Panel on Costs and Benefits (Noise) to consider the implications of the latest evidence around noise and will use the findings to update Government guidance where necessary.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating complaints about issues that could be a statutory nuisance and have a duty to carry out inspections to detect and investigate nuisance complaints, including those concerning excessive noise.

Have you experienced noisy neighbours during the pandemic? Email reece.hanson@archant.co.uk.

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