LOCAL residents are being driven barking mad as complaints about animal noise made up 60% of all noise complaints made to Antrim Borough Council in the past twelve months.
A total of 181 complaints were received by the councils during the period April 2011 to March 2012. 109 of these complaints were about animal noise, while 46 were about music/tv noise.
These results show that there has been a very small increase in the amount of reported problems, as the same period in the year before there were 173 complaints over all.
The figures were revealed in Department’s report, Noise Complaint Statistics for Northern Ireland 2011/2012, which was published last week.
In Northern Ireland overall there was a total of 12,193 complaints received by district councils during the period April 2011 to March 2012, compared with 11,585 the previous year. This is a 5.25% increase.
The report finds that domestic noise accounted for 85.2% of all complaints made in Northern Ireland between April 2011 and March 2012. The domestic noise sources most complained about were loud music, television or parties which accounted for 48.7% of domestic noise complaints this year.
Alex Attwood said: “Noise is an issue which I take very seriously. There is no doubt that nuisance noise can badly affect people’s health and well being, children particularly. To this end, I want to see less noise and more peace of mind.
“As with previous years, domestic noise is the major culprit and this is something that can, in the main, be avoided, especially those complaints relating to loud music/televisions and parties.
This is one of the reasons that the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 was enacted. It gives district councils greater powers to deal with noise from domestic premises at night, and I strongly urge all district councils to make full use of all the powers available to them to deal with persistent offenders.”
The report also highlights initiatives that councils have adopted in an effort to raise awareness of noise issues and ensure that noise remains high on the public’s agenda.
The Minister welcomes such work from the councils saying: “I am impressed by the lengths that some councils go to in an effort to improve noise within their district. I welcome innovative approaches, such as council officers visiting schools and running quizzes and carrying out noise tests on the volume of children’s i-pods. I also welcome the adoption of partnership approaches between district councils and the PSNI, Housing Executive and Youth Justice Agency in tackling noise. It is these sorts of initiatives that I would like to see repeated across the North.”
The most significant increases in noise complaints were experienced by Moyle District Council (38.10%), Ards Borough Council (16.67%), Castlereagh Borough Council (16.67%), Omagh District Council (15.34%) and Belfast City Council (15.32%).