Trojan noise nuisance recorder – neighbour noise nuisance case study

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Courtesy of Cirrus Environmental

Newham Borough, located just five miles east of the City of London, has experienced huge amounts of regeneration and redevelopment over the last twenty years through government investment schemes for Newham and the surrounding boroughs. The redevelopment has successfully attracted a younger age group as well as several different cultures from all over London, resulting in under 25 year olds making up over 40 per cent of the 254,000 residents living in Newham1.

Muhammad Islam, Senior Environmental Health Officer at Newham Council’s Noise and Nuisance team, explains: “The diversity within Newham Borough makes it a vibrant and exciting place to live. However, like all boroughs, we have our challenges such as noise nuisance complaints - of which we get on average, around 155 a week from residents.

We have a duty to investigate complaints of noise nuisance; the most common being continuous barking dogs, car doors slamming at night, loud music or televisions, shouting, banging doors and DIY activities. Many noise problems, particularly those involving neighbours, can be resolved informally by individuals speaking to each other to explain the problem. However, if this approach fails, we put processes in place to help.

Councils and local authorities across the UK have slightly different adaptations and approaches to enforcing noise nuisance. There is no set guideline for noise or frequency of decibel (dB) levels that residents have to follow and it is up to the individual councils and boroughs to use their own judgement for statutory noise nuisances under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

In most scenarios, local authorities and councils like Newham, advise that in reported cases of noise nuisances, the resident approaches the individual responsible directly, which more often than not, results in both parties coming to an amicable agreement. However, this approach doesn’t always work and the next suggested step is an independent third party mediation procedure.

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