Around 6 million people are extremely bothered by neighbour noise in the UK. According to Government figures, 11% of people are extremely disturbed by neighbour noise in the UK, with 54% bothered to some extent (1).
And the least well-off can suffer the most. Just 7% of people living in a detached house or bungalow are annoyed by noise from their neighbours. This rises to 23% of those living in a medium/high rise flat.
Although there is legislation in place that there wasn't 30 years ago, its implementation is still patchy, resulting in far too many people living with a neighbour noise problem.
It’s time to get consistently tough on noise offenders. It is time for the Government, the Police and all local authorities to find the resources and the willpower to deal effectively with neighbour noise.
The legislation exists (2):
The Environmental Protection Act 1980
The Noise Act 1996
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
There has been a clampdown in smoking in most public venues so we don't inhale other people's smoke. The same tough attitude needs to be taken towards other people's noise.
An Independent Appeals Panel needs to be set up for noise sufferers who believe the authorities haven't done their job effectively.
Homes need to be properly insulated. Exact figures are hard to come by but research carried out some years ago by the UK Noise Association estimated that at least 2.5 million people live in homes with poor sound insulation (3).
For assistance with individual noise problems:
Noise Abatement Society: www.noiseabatementsociety.com provides a noise helpline: 01273 823850
Noise Nuisance: http://www.noisenuisance.org Assists people with neighbour and neighbourhood noise problems
(1).National Noise Attitude Survey 2012 http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&Completed=0&ProjectID=18288
(2). Go to http://www.ukna.org.uk/case-notes--reports.html where Emeritus Professor Francis McManus, a leading expert on noise law, outlines key legal judgements
(3). A Sound Solution, UK Noise Association, (2002)
Next blog: why all noise officers should be over 60! Read on....