Noisy neighbours who blight residents' quality of life sparked more than 1300 complaints in Doncaster last year, The Free Press can reveal today.
Statistics uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act showed there were 1947 complaints made about noise to Doncaster Council in 2017 and about two thirds of these were about noisy neighbours playing loud music, holding parties and shouting loudly with 1311 cases.
READ MORE: Six men due in court in bid to block prosecutions over Hillsborough disaster
The next most common bugbear was to do with animals - such as barking dogs - with 482 incidents, followed by industrial/commercial noise with 136 complaints and then construction/demolition sites with 18 cases.
The area that sparked the highest number of complaints was Hexthorpe and Balby North with 288 incidents – 245 of which were about noisy neighbours.
The town centre was the next worst area with 164 complaints, followed by Adwick le Street and Carcroft with 132 incidents.
But Doncaster Council chiefs stressed they are working hard to tackle the problem and highlighted how there were 712 successful prosecutions at the town's magistrates' court last year relating to noise complaints.
In a joint statement councillor Glyn Jones, deputy mayor and cabinet member for housing and equalities, and coun Sue Wilkinson warned that people who persistently makes neighbours' lives a misery though noisy behaviour will always face action.
READ MORE: Sheffield-born nightclub king Peter Stringfellow kept cancer battle secret
The ward members for Hexthorpe and Balby North said: “Everybody wants to be treated with respect and dignity and expects everyone to treat others as they themselves would expect to be treated. Clearly, this type of anti-social behaviour should not be tolerated within our communities.
“Noisy neighbours are a real nuisance and often a huge blemish on communities. However, because of the close proximity as a neighbour, this does feel, to the victim a very personal attack on their quality of life and well-being.
“The council is well aware, in certain areas, of incidents of noisy neighbours and have heavily publicised helpline/action numbers and email contacts, offering help, advice and enforcement options to combat these episodes and help prevent these reoccurring.”
Those who breach noise abatement notices face paying a fixed penalty notice of £100, while the maximum fine that can be imposed is £1000.
A Doncaster Council spokesperson said: “There are some very real and severe consequences for those who breach noise abatement laws. These include prosecution, seizure of equipment, criminal behaviour order and even loss of tenancy.
READ MORE: Second arrest in Barnsley murder investigation
“We take a robust stand against those who breach noise abatement notices, which normally results in prosecution in the magistrates’ court, seizure and forfeiture of the noise-making equipment and if particularly serious, can lead to a criminal behaviour order being issued. Being found guilty of breaching noise abatement notices can also put your tenancy at risk.”
In comparison, there were 2254 complaints made about noise to Sheffield Council in 2017 and about two thirds of these were about noisy neighbours with 1457 cases.
The figures come as it was also revealed councils in Yorkshire and the Humber received nearly 41, 000 statutory nuisance complaints in the 12 months to July 31 last year.
The most common complaint is for noise, comprising nearly half of all complaints.
Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, which compiled the figures, said: “Living next to a poorly maintained property, or loud and disruptive neighbours, can not only be a harrowing ordeal but could also affect the long-term value of your home if you were to look to sell.
“Council enforcement of environmental regulations is crucial to ensure the actions of inconsiderate individuals don’t blight the lives of others."
Total number of complaints about noise to Doncaster Council in 2017 - 1947
Top 5 areas for all noise complaints
Hexthorpe and Balby North – 288
Town centre – 164
Adwick le Street and Carcroft – 132
Bentley – 114
Mexborough – 113
Top 4 complaints categories for Doncaster
Domestic/loud music/parties/loud shouting – 1311
Domestic dogs/animals – 482
Industrial/commercial – 136
Construction/demolition sites – 18