London

Noise complaints in London on the increase

Complaints about noise in London are increasing, with 367,073 in the last three years, BBC research has found.

There were 129,915 complaints last year, up from 120,586 in 2009, and 116, 572 in 2008, the results of Freedom of Information requests showed.

Last year, Southwark had the most (13,326), overtaking Westminster (12,360). Lambeth saw a 66% rise in complaints from 2009 to 9,228 in 2010.

The figures show the 33 councils issued 3,608 noise abatement notices in 2010.

This was up from 3,589 notices in 2009, and 3,130 in 2008.

Last year, Westminster issued the most with 897, followed by Croydon with 414 and then Hammersmith and Fulham with 309.

About 45% of the complaints since 2008 had been about residential properties.

But as well as parties and loud music, some people were aggrieved at noises including DIY, musical instruments, voices, singing, karaoke, fireworks, street speakers, buskers and church bells.

Councillor Ian Wingfield, of Southwark Council, said: "The figures reflect the fact that we have robust reporting procedures in place to allow the public to let us know when they have concerns about noise and we have a range of tools and powers to deal with their complaints.

"We understand that excessive noise can be a blight on people's lives and for that reason we strive to make sure the levels of unacceptable noise in the borough are kept to an absolute minimum."

Over the three years, there were 397 instances of equipment being seized, and 10 councils reported a total of 158 prosecutions.

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