Barking dogs, loud music and screaming neighbours - the noise complaints received by Doncaster Council

Howling dogs, loud music and shouting neighbours make up thousands of noise complaints to Doncaster Council each year, a report has shown.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Figures released by council officers show the authority receives around 2,200 complaints a year but only 50 of these actually result in enforcement action against the culprits,

Most noise complaints are from residential homes with playing music at 35 per cent, dogs/animals at 27 per cent and noise from neighbours at 23 per cent.

Officers said the majority of complaints are resolved in the ‘earliest informal manner’ through letters, phone calls or face-to-face discussions between enforcement officers and the person causing the disturbance.

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But of the 50 on average that are taken further, enforcement notices are served, with some of these resulting in prosecution and/or seizure of ‘noise making equipment’.

But officers added the vast majority of cases are closed because residents do not complete the necessary monitoring forms to provide evidence where formal action can be taken.

The reasons for this are said to be unknown, although it is quite likely that for many cases, the initial contact made with the perpetrator is ‘sufficient to resolve the problem reported’.

The council also said they receive around 14 dust complaints per year which often arise from construction and development sites.

There is also 40 chimney smoke complaints per year, most from domestic premises and around 240 bonfire smoke complaints, over 75 per cent of which are domestic bonfires.

Andy Brown, senior policy, insight and change manager at the council said: “Noise is second to poor air quality in terms of the burden of ill health caused by a single pollutant and is increasingly high on the international agenda.

"Over 80 per cent of people report being exposed to noise pollution in their homes.

“Direct links to ill health include sleep disturbance and stress, with more indirect associations including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and impaired children’s learning development.

“Addressing noise levels retrospectively can be costly and it is better to consider noise pollution in planning decisions.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.