Enjoy the warmer weather but play your part and be a good neighbour

10 June 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council has seen an increase in noise nuisance complaints as people enjoy the warm weather and easing of pandemic restrictions.

A combination of spending more time in the garden, outdoor entertaining and having open windows in our homes, can mean that the volume has increased a bit.

When it comes to the everyday sounds of a busy neighbourhood, we each have different lifestyles, different tastes and different tolerances. What is music to your ears could well be a noise nightmare to your neighbour.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said; “We want everyone to enjoy the good weather but we have received some comments on social media regarding noise nuisance.  Everyone is spending more time outdoors and sometimes music and loud voices can carry through open windows.

“It’s always best to try to speak to the source of the noise before taking any official action.  The Council’s on-line toolkit contains sample letters plus hints and tips on how to approach your neighbours.

“In most cases this means problems can be resolved quickly.  The majority of people making a noise are not aware they are causing a disturbance and, once they know, will reduce or stop the noise as soon as possible.”

Generally the Council will investigate ongoing or regular noise problems. If the noise is a one-off or limited in duration - for example, a party - the Council is unlikely to be able to help. The only exception to this is problematic house or car alarms.

If, after speaking to your neighbour the problem continues, contact the Council with evidence of your complaint.  Mobile smartphones can be used to create an on-line diary of noise incidents through apps like ‘The Noise App’.

The Council’s website has more information on noise nuisance, along with links to download ‘The Noise App’ - search for ‘noise’ from the homepage.

Tips to avoid causing noise nuisance include:
  • Consider your neighbours (particularly if you are planning a garden get together or EURO 2020 celebration at your home). Neighbours are generally tolerant if it's not a frequent occurrence and they feel that you are taking reasonable steps to consider them.
  • Inform your neighbours of the date, start and finish times and try to stick to them and remember neighbours may have children or have to go to work the following day.
  • Be considerate when arranging the music - especially if the party is in the garden. Music carries a long way (particularly bass notes).  If you can hear the music beyond the boundary of your home or upstairs, your neighbours may be able to hear it as well.
  • Respond to any complaints - be prepared to turn the music down if asked to by neighbours, the Police, or the Council.
  • After 11pm reduce the music volume - take the party inside if in the garden (if Covid restrictions allow - indoor gatherings are currently limited to six people or two households) close windows and doors and check the noise level from the outside - if you can hear it outside it is probably too loud.
  • Request that your guests leave quietly - raised voices and slamming doors late at night are equally as disturbing as loud music.
  • Remember to stay COVID safe – Cheshire West and Chester is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and infection rates in the borough are rising. Please remember Hands, Face, Space in any social situation. Avoid large gatherings and remember to wear your face covering indoors.    

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