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Lower tolerance of neighbours and higher expectations of quiet are blamed as complaints about noise continue to ris...
Lower tolerance of neighbours and higher expectations of quiet are blamed as complaints about noise continue to rise, according to a new survey published by the National Society for Clean Air and Environmental Protection.

Research also found that only eight local authorities have adopted the night-time noise legislation - introduced under the Noise Act 1996 on last years' National Noise Awareness Day - they prefer to use their own systems for dealing with noise disturbance at night. However, half of the local authorities surveyed have used powers to confiscate noise making equipment.

A four fold increase in complaints for car and burglar alarms was also revealed by the survey. New legislation to tackle these sources has been proposed, but has yet to be implemented.

'Noise complaints continue to rise and present an intractable challenge. As these survey results demonstrate, Government must address noise issues more seriously, and a shift in public attitude is also required if the problem is to be resolved' said Mary Stevens of NSCA.

'Car and intruder alarms can cause serious disturbance. It is time for the government to introduce controls'.

This survey was published yesterday, July 1, on National Noise Awareness Day when local authorities all over the country publicised noise issues.


The Noise Act 1996 covers noise from domestic premises. The procedure for dealing with night time noise is adoptive. Between 11pm and 7am local authorities adopting the provisions have a duty to take reasonable steps to investigate any complaint about noise being emitted from a dwelling during these hours. If an offence is found to be committed, the offender may be prosecuted. Under Section 10 of the Act an authorised officer may enter the dwelling and confiscate equipment used to emit excessive noise.

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