Figures obtained by the Yorkshire Evening Post under the Freedom of Information Act show that 23,350 noise complaints were made to Leeds City Council since 2016 - 9,735 in 2016; 10,341 last year; and 3,274 up to March this year. Over the whole period, it served 1,095 noise abatement notices - one for ever 21 complaints received - and took court action in just eight cases.
A spokesperson for the authority said it takes tackling nuisance noise is a “top priority” and it has seen encouraging results since launching an enhanced service tackling the issue in 2014. He said it uses “every tool” at its disposal to put a stop to the blight of noise nuisance on communities.
“We’ve found that the issuing of Noise Abatement Notices, for example, has proved to be a positive deterrent in stopping this problem, alongside other measures such as the seizure of equipment, before we decide to prosecute, which is always a last resort,” the spokesman said. “We will not hesitate however to take this step through the courts if necessary and appropriate.”
Wakefield Council issued a noise abatement notice for 121 complaints received. In total, 59 were issued for 7,156 complaints and just two prosecutions were pursued. Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s Service Director for Environment and Streetscence said the majority of the complaints were resolve with an informal conversation. He said: “When this approach does not to work we will investigate the complaint thoroughly.”
Campaign group HomeOwners Alliance offers advice to those suffering the blight of noisy neighbours.
Chief executive Paula Higgins said: “Noisy neighbours can be a real nightmare for homeowners. We know that it can be tricky for councils to deal with, but action is needed.”