Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Durkan: Noise Complaint Statistics fall 

Stormont Executive press release - Department of the Environment

Noise complaints received by district councils from April 2012 to March 2013 have fallen by less than 1%.

A total of 12,142 complaints were received in 2012/2013, compared to 12,193 in 2011/2012.

The report finds that domestic noise remains the largest source of noise in Northern Ireland, accounting for 82% of all complaints made in between April 2012 and March 2013. The domestic noise sources most complained about were loud music, television or parties and animal noise.

Commenting on the DOE’s Noise Complaint Statistics for Northern Ireland 2012/2013 which were published today, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “This is the first year when the night-noise powers contained within the Noise Act 1996 apply to all district councils across Northern Ireland, having previously applied only to Belfast City Council. Given that domestic noise is the largest cause of noise complaints and loud music, television and parties are the major culprit within this category, I urge all councils to make full use of these powers to help them address and reduce noise and improve the quality of life of affected citizens. 

“Noise is a very serious issue. It can seriously affect human health and wellbeing and can interfere with our daily lives at school, at work and during our leisure time. There must be no doubt that I am committed to improving the noise situation in Northern Ireland.”

The report also highlights the councils which experienced the greatest reductions and increases in the number of complaints. The most significant increases in noise complaints were experienced by Strabane District Council (47%), Ballymena Borough Council (32%) and Craigavon Borough Council (27%). 

The report also highlights initiatives that councils have adopted in an effort to raise awareness of noise issues and ensure that noise remains high on the public’s agenda. 

Welcoming the work done by the councils the Minister continued: “I support the innovative approaches that some councils are adopting to increase noise awareness and make people more alert to the adverse impact that their behaviour has on those around them. I hope that all the councils read this report, reflect on the initiatives that their neighbouring councils have adopted and seriously consider taking similar action to improve awareness and the noise situation within their districts.” 

Notes to editors:

1. The report is available from 10am on 29 November 2013 on the Department’s website http://www.doeni.gov.uk/complaint_statistics_for_ni.htm

2. Domestic noise accounts for 82% of all complaints this year, followed by complaints relating to commerce and leisure (9%), noise in the street (4%), industrial (2%), construction (2%) and transport (1%).

3. The domestic noise sources most complained about in 2012/13 are loud music, television or parties which accounted for 47% of domestic noise complaints. Animal noise represents 37% and other neighbourhood noise was the cause of a further 12% of domestic noise complaints.

4. The most significant increases in noise complaints were experienced by Strabane District Council (47%), Ballymena Borough Council (32%) and Craigavon Borough Council (27%). The councils experiencing the most significant reductions in noise complaints were Omagh District Council (24%), Larne District Council (24%) and Magherafelt District Council (21%). 

5. The Department of the Environment collates the figures on the numbers of complaints which have been provided to it by the district councils. Thus, the Department is not in a position to comment on trends or specific findings. All queries should be referred to the relevant district council.

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