So how do you make a noise complaint? What happens when one is made? And, with so many complaints made in Leeds City Centre, could this put people off moving there?
Following our investigation into commercial noise complaints made to Leeds City Council, we decided to get the low-down on what you can do when unwanted noise is driving you round the bend.
Who deals with noise complaints?
Noise is dealt with by two separate arms of the council. Day-to-day domestic noise someone might experience from a neighbour – such as playing loud music, TVs, DIY, or dogs barking – is dealt with by the Leeds Anti-social Behaviour Team (LABST). Commercial noise complaints – relating to everything from construction sites to ice cream vans to pubs – are dealt with by the council’s Environmental Protection Team.
What does the council do when a commercial noise complaint is made?
It’s quite a technical process, which can start with mediation and end in more formal action.
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “The Environmental Protection Team investigates complaints about noise from commercial and licensed premises and events within Leeds e.g. noise from factories, industrial units, construction sites, shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants and takeaways.
“When a complaint is received the customer may be contacted by telephone or in writing in order to gather further information in relation to their complaint.
“Once it has been determined that there is an ongoing problem the complaint will be allocated to an officer for further investigation. The officer will contact the person alleged to be responsible for the noise to discuss the concerns raised and to try to resolve informally.”
Should the issue fail to be resolved, the council claims more “formal action” may then be taken, and could even include installation of noise-monitoring equipment.
The council says it wants people to move to the city centre. Won’t all the noise drive people away?
The council says the city is growing and has high levels of development and, although this is good for the city centre’s economy, it may have the potential to cause trouble for those living there.
A council statement read: “In the city centre there is also a diverse day time and evening time economy offered by a variety of businesses that cater for the many residents who live in Leeds and also visitors to our city.
“This does mean that there will be occasions, more than other communities in Leeds, when local residents, people working in the city centre and visitors will be affected by some type of commercial noise.
“We will always use every tool at our disposal to find a solution to any ongoing commercial noise as quickly as possible in Leeds City Centre or indeed anywhere across the city.”
Where can I make a complaint about noise?
Further information about noise and how to register a complaint can be found at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/environmental-health/noise-nuisance