Over 11,000 noise complaints in NI this year
New government data analysed by CompareNI.com has shown 11,338 noise complaints in Northern Ireland this year.
The report shows noise complaints received by all 11 councils between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.*
During this period 11,338 noise complaints were received in Northern Ireland. This is a 14.5% decrease in the total number of complaints received compared to the previous year, which was 13,261.
The statistics showed that 77% of noise complaints were made for domestic noise with 8739 complaints received. Domestic noise includes music, televisions, parties, house alarms and animal noise.
Anti-social behaviour saw the largest decrease for noise complaints since the previous year, dropping 40% from 302 complaints to 182.
Belfast had the highest rate of complaints by far than any other council area, with 17 complaints per 1000 people and a total of 5,705 complaints altogether.
Antrim and Newtownabbey had the next highest rate of complaints, with 6 complaints per 1000 people and a total of 821 complaints.
Newry, Mourne and Down and Fermanagh and Omagh had the lowest rate of complaints with 2 per 1000 people and a total of 391 and 282 respectively.
Other complaints were rarer than others, with a total of 5 complaints made for ice cream van chimes and 6 made for noisy wind farms.
The council have a series of measures to deal with noise complaints if the warning notice is ignored, such as a fixed penalty notice of £110, if not paid within 14 days the person can be prosecuted – if convicted they could receive a fine of up to £1000.**
Commenting on the figures, Ian Wilson Managing Director at CompareNI.com said: “Noise can be more than a nuisance, it can ruin your comfort within your own home.
“As most of the statistics demonstrate, the largest number of complaints were made for domestic noise with a total of 8739 in the last year.
“There are certain things you can do to make sure you’re not being a noisy neighbour. Remember that night hours as stated by the council are 11pm – 7am so it’s wise to keep any TV or music low during this time period and parties taking place after this time should be kept to a minimum.
“The law defines a maximum amount of noise which is acceptable during night hours, when noise exceeds the permitted level, the district council can investigate and take action.
“There are things you can do to help reduce noise pollution from outside disturbing you in your home, such as making sure there are no cracks in your walls and that windows and doors are well insulated, helping reduce the outside noise.
“If you are getting noise from a shared wall with a neighbour try moving furniture around, so that heavy items such as bookcases, wardrobes or sofas can absorb the noise and stop it from disrupting you.
“If you’re prosecuted for a noise related offence it may increase your home insurance costs as most providers will normally ask if occupants have any convictions or pending prosecutions.
“It may also affect the validity of the home insurance policy, should you need to make a claim – insurers could refuse to pay out if the policyholders loud and excessive parties show they haven’t taken ‘reasonable care’ of the property.
“If you’ve just bought the property and the seller didn’t make you aware of the issues in the area, such as noise pollution and anti-social behaviour then you may be able to seek compensation through the courts – check your home insurance, some of the best policies come with legal protection included to support legal fees that might come from property disputes with neighbours.”
|Total number of complaints
|Complaints per 1000
|Antrim and Newtownabbey
|Ards and North Down
|Mid and East Antrim
|Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon
|Lisburn and Castlereagh
|Derry and Strabane
|Causeway Coast and Glens
|Fermanagh and Omagh
|Newry Mourne and Down
Noise complaints received by NI councils between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023
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