Noisy neighbour complaints rose during lockdown in Shropshire

Hundreds of complaints were recorded across the county as noisy neighbours caused a headache during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

New figures reveal how the confinement to homes during lockdown brought householders into conflict.

Complaints registered in Shropshire were up by around a quarter on normal times.

Shropshire Council recorded 1,865 noise complaints linked to neighbours between April 2020 and March this year, while Telford & Wrekin council registered 726. In Powys there were 322.

For the county of Shropshire the number of complaints was up from the previous year's figure of 1,524 in the Shropshire Council area and from 592 in Telford & Wrekin.

It comes as lockdown left people across the area confined to their homes for sustained periods.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to hundreds of local authorities found there were more than 368,000 complaints about noisy neighbours lodged to 267 councils across the UK in 2020-21, a 28 per cent rise from the previous year.

Steven Williams, from Churchill Insurance, which gathered the figures, said: "The pandemic has seen us confined to our homes which means we’ve probably all become very aware of noises around us. As we go into more of a ‘new normal’, many of us will carry on working from home, at least part of the time, so noisy neighbours will continue to be really disruptive.

“It may be the case that neighbours don’t realise they are being noisy, so the first step should always be speaking to them and explaining the problem.

"If that doesn’t work and they carry on, then keep a record of the type of noise and time of day and speak to your local council about raising a potential noise complaint.”

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents local authorities, said councils were working to tackle the problem.

Nesil Caliskan, from the LGA, said: "With many people living in high density areas, complaints about noise nuisance are common. And in rural areas like much of Shropshire, it doesn't take much for the peace to be disrupted.

"Councils are doing what they can to respond to noise complaints in communities, and to tackle persistent behaviour that makes peoples’ lives a misery."

The Government has assembled the Interdepartmental Panel on Costs and Benefits (Noise) to consider the implications of the latest evidence around noise and will use the findings to update Government guidance where necessary.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating complaints about issues that could be a statutory nuisance and have a duty to carry out inspections to detect and investigate nuisance complaints, including those concerning excessive noise.

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