02 Sep Local councils received 1,000 complaints a day about noisy neighbours during lockdowns | UK News
Local councils received 1,000 complaints a day about noisy neighbours during the height of the pandemic as multiple lockdowns forced many people to stay at home.
Research by Churchill Home Insurance, based on Freedom of Information requests to all councils in the UK found that between April 2020 and March 2021, 368,924 noise complaints were made – a 28% rise from the previous year, with 86% of the councils reporting increases.
Dudley, in the West Midlands, recorded 26,000 noise complaints – the highest of any local authority.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea received the greatest number of neighbour noise complaints per person in its area, with 99 for every 1,000 inhabitants.
The research team received usable data from 70% of the UK’s 269 local councils.
Churchill also commissioned a poll by Opinium of 2,000 adults in the UK between July 23 and 27, which found that a third (32%) of respondents said their mental health had been negatively affected by noise from neighbours.
The worst type of disturbance was loud music, followed children or garden noise, parties and coming and going at anti-social hours.
Only 11% who said they had been affected by noisy neighbours said they had reported it to their local council, suggesting the true number of noise-related issues could be much higher.
In 29% of cases the person affected spoke to their neighbour, but the majority said they were unsuccessful in stopping the noise. Others contacted the neighbour’s landlord (16%) or reported them to the police (14%).
Steven Williams, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: “The pandemic has seen us confined to our homes which means we’ve probably all become very aware of noises around us.
“As we go into more of a ‘new normal’, many of us will carry on working from home, at least part of the time, so noisy neighbours will continue to be really disruptive.
“It may be the case that neighbours don’t realise they are being noisy so the first step should always be speaking to them and explaining the problem.
“If that doesn’t work and they carry on, then keep a record of the type of noise and time of day, and speak to your local council about raising a potential noise complaint.”
Councillor Nesil Caliskan, chair of the Local Government Association’s Stronger and Safer Communities Board, 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.”