The dins that drive many to complain

Rowdy neighbours and barking dogs have been the source of hundreds of complaints to Wigan Council.
Wigan Council received hundreds of noise complaints last yearWigan Council received hundreds of noise complaints last year
Wigan Council received hundreds of noise complaints last year

Figures released under freedom of information laws have revealed that 1,243 noise complaints were lodged to the authority in 2015, an average of around four per 1,000 people.

The three biggest aural bugbears in the borough were noisy neighbours, pet dogs and people in general.

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Gathered by noise monitoring experts Cirrus Research, the figures show that there were more than 11,000 noise nuisance gripes made across Greater Manchester last year.

The vast majority of issues logged related to noisy neighbours, shouting or playing loud music in the home, followed by barking dogs and then errant car or home alarms being triggered.

The data is being used by the Cirrus team to build up a national noise nuisance map of the UK. Marketing manager Thomas Shelton said: “We work with many local authorities and housing associations which have to deal with the complaints daily about noise nuisance. They have to a duty to investigate each allegation, see if there is any substance, gather evidence and then take action.

“What one person thinks is acceptable could drive someone else crazy so noise enforcement teams have a difficult job at the best of times.

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“We conducted our research based on complaints per 1,000 population to get a more accurate picture so whilst on paper Manchester borough received more complaints than Bury, it has a much larger and denser population so that has to be taken into account to get a true picture.”

Cirrus also asked how many of those complaints ended up being prosecuted or convicted – with seven cases ended up in court across the whole of the North West region. The vast majority were resolved using mediation or warnings.

Mr Shelton added: “We have seen certain trends emerging.

“People are now much more aware of their rights and more likely to complain than grin and bear it. Elderly people are also more likely to complain as they spend more time indoors, and with more homes now having wooden or laminate floors and wall-mounted TVs, we are seeing more domestic complaints as there is less to insulate the noise within the home.”