Noise complaint figures revealed
Inconsiderate neighbours were the reason for most noise complaints in Northern Ireland, new figures have revealed.
Loud music, televisions and house parties were recorded in 5,064 cases reported to district councils between April 2011 and last March.
Barking dogs were the second biggest source of annoyance.
The total number of noise complaints increased by 5.35% to 12,193 between April 2011 and last March with areas such as Moyle (55) Castlereagh (184) Omagh (196) and Belfast (5,983) experiencing the largest jump.
Seamus Blaney, an independent councillor in Moyle said animals were the main cause for concern. "There was certainly an issue with barking dogs," he said. "There were also a lot of complaints about boy racers revving their cars as they drive up and down the street."
In Belfast, which had the highest number of noise complaints anywhere, notices were served on 63 householders who breached the acceptable levels.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "Noise is an issue which I take very seriously. There is no doubt that nuisance noise can badly affect people's health and wellbeing, children particularly. To this end, I want to see less noise and more peace of mind."
Areas experiencing the most significant reductions in noise complaints were Ballymena (157), Fermanagh (128) and Strabane (133).
Mr Attwood added: "As with previous years, domestic noise is the major culprit and this is something that can, in the main, be avoided, especially those complaints relating to loud music/televisions and parties.
"This is one of the reasons that the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 was enacted. It gives district councils greater powers to deal with noise from domestic premises at night, and I strongly urge all district councils to make full use of all the powers available to them to deal with persistent offenders."