Know your noise this summer

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During the longer summer months, noise disturbance is by far the most common anti-social behaviour reported to Milton Keynes Council, which receives over 2,000 noise complaints each year.

This summer, the Council is asking local people to consider the impact of their noise on neighbours – but also reminding everyone that the sound of a one-off party or of children playing outside is not necessarily considered a noise nuisance.

The most common complaints made to the Council are for:

•             Loud music

•             Parties

•             Children playing

•             Barking dogs

•             Construction

If you’re disturbed by noise from a neighbour and do not think they will react angrily, the Council suggests approaching them and explaining politely that you’re being disturbed. In many cases, your neighbour might not even know their noise is an issue and will take steps to reduce it.

If there is ongoing and substantial noise, you can report it to the Council using a handy online form or by using ‘The Noise App’ which can be downloaded from the App Store. The App allows people to record noise nuisance on a smart phone and each recording is time stamped with a GPS marker. You can also use it to make notes for Council staff to help them better understand the noise nuisance. If a noise is assessed to be unreasonable and excessive, legal action may be taken. There are additional things the Council can do if the noise comes from a licensed premises.

However, the Council doesn’t intervene if the noise comes from reasonable domestic activities such as neighbours shutting doors or walking up and down stairs, or the sound of children playing.

In addition, it asks local people to be tolerant of occasional DIY or barbecues and parties over the summer.

Repeated loud noise can be frustrating and when it’s unreasonable we are able to help. We do ask people to think twice before reporting sounds that no court in the land would consider unreasonable, such as children splashing in a paddling pool over the school holidays or a very occasional late party. Our noise app is a useful tool to record nuisance noise and build a picture over time, so please download it if you’re dealing with noise.
- Cabinet Member for Customer Services Cllr Paul Trendall