Revealed: North East areas with most noise complaints recorded

Noisy neighbours can be annoying.
Noisy neighbours can be annoying.
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Research has revealed there were more than 12,100 noise nuisance complaints across the North East last year with some surprising areas topping the noisy neighbourhood chart.

Compiled by noise monitoring experts Cirrus Research via Freedom of Information requests from local authorities, the statistics put Middlesbrough top of the noisy neighbour poll with 1,020 complaints over the 12 months covering a population of 138,400 - the equivalent of approximately 7.3 complaints per 1,000 head.

Map of North East noise complaints.

Map of North East noise complaints.

South Tyneside came a close second with 1,027 complaints within a population of around 148,670 – the equivalent of 6.9 complaints per 1,000.

Darlington came in third with 713 complaints within a population of 105400 or 6.7 complaints per 1,000.

And the quietest was Gateshead with just 379 complaints across the year in a population of 201,000 or 1.9 per 1,000 residents.

Sunderland recorded a total of 825 complaints, while Hartlepool saw 535.

County Durham saw 2,131 complaints.

The vast majority of issues logged related to noisy neighbours, shouting or playing loud music in the home, followed by barking dogs and then licensed premises.

The data is being used by the Cirrus Research team which is starting to build up a national noise nuisance map of the UK.

Marketing manager James Tingay said: We work with many local authorities and housing associations which have to deal with the complaints daily about noise nuisance.

“They have a duty to investigate each allegation, see if there is any substance, gather evidence and then take action.

“What one person thinks is acceptable could drive someone else crazy so noise enforcement teams have a difficult job at the best of times.

“We conducted our research based on complaints per 1,000 population to get a more accurate picture so whilst on paper Northumberland received more complaints than South Tyneside, it has a much larger population so that has to be taken into account to get a true picture.”

Cirrus Research also asked how many of those complaints ended up being prosecuted or convicted – with only four cases ended up in court across the whole of the North East.

The vast majority were resolved using mediation or warnings.

James added: “Cirrus has been making noise nuisance monitors for more than 30 years and we have seen certain trends emerging over more recent years. With noise nuisance, people are now much more aware of their rights and more likely to complain than grin and bear it.

“Elderly people are also more likely to complain as they spend more time in doors, and with more homes now having wooden or laminate floors and wall-mounted TVs, we are seeing more domestic complaints as there is less to insulate the noise within the home.”

The total number of complaints for the whole of the North East came in at 12,110 for 2016 – significantly lower than both Yorkshire and the North West where similar FOI surveys were carried out the previous years and logged 40,662 and 39,960 respectively.