Most noise complaints relate to animal noises

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A total of 201 noise complaints were received by the old Banbridge District Council in 2014/15, according to a report released by the Department of Environment.

One hundred and thirty-five of the noise complaints received by the council were related to animal noises.

The total of 201 represents an 11.8 per cent decrease in noise complaints from 2013/14 when 228 noise complaints were received.

No notices were served in 2014/15 despite the relatively high number of complaints.

The next highest number of complaints received after animal noise related to Music, Television and Parties, with 16.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council responded to the release of the figures.

A spokesperson said: “Recent reports released regarding noise complaints highlight the number of complaints received by legacy authorities before the establishment of new councils as part of the local government reform process.

“Each complaint received by the former Banbridge District Council for the period in question was thoroughly investigated however none was deemed severe enough or was satisfactorily addressed in an informal manner as to not require a notice being served.

“Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council will continue to address any noise related complaints with the utmost importance, dealing with them in the most appropriate manner relevant to the issue and will serve formal notices if required.”

2014/15 is the third year when the Noise Act 1996 applied to all district councils.

The report notes: “It is disappointing that only Belfast City Council and Ards Borough Council have made use of the additional powers available under the legislation.

“It is also disappointing that no district councils have designated alarm notification areas under the CNeA (Northern Ireland) 2011.”

The decline in noirse complaints could be linked to the council using some its new powers.

The report said: “Several councils adopt a partnership approach, working with other bodies including the PSNI to undertake joint patrols, share information (including provision of witness

statements) or attend multi-agency Antisocial Behaviour forums.

“It is to be hoped that as councils become more familiar with the legislation and the powers now available to them, more enforcement action may be taken, with a subsequent long-term decline in the number of noise complaints.”