Noisy neighbour problems are on the rise in the Limavady council area, according to statistics.
Official figures just released reveal more than 11,500 noise complaints were referred to local councils, a steep rise of 39 per cent since 2004 noise abatement legislation was introduced.
Among the councils in the North worst hit was Limavady which recorded 35.6 per cent.
Limavady commented that the increase may be as a result of their campaign warning of the dangers of personal headphones during Noise Action Week.
A breakdown of the figures show the bulk of the complaints for Limavady during the year 2009-2010 lay with animal noise (68), followed by television music parties (27), other (5), industry manufacturing workshops (4), entertainment premises, (4), sports and leisure (3) and security alarms (1).
Ciaran Doran, Lead Environmental Health Officer for Limavady Borough Council, Ciaran Doran said: “We would notice an increase generally in noise complaints and in particular noise from animals. The overwelming majority of these complaints relate to nuisance noise from dogs kept in neighbouring properties. A lot of these complaints concern dogs who are kept in gardens and yards while the owners are at work. Excessive barking can be due to a dog being bored through lack of exercise. Anyone who keeps a dog should ensure the dog recieves an adequate amount of daily exercise which should help prevent barking problems.
Anyone who keeps a dog that is barking so excessively so as to cause a nuisance to neighbours can recieve a legal notice from the Council requiring an abatement of the nuisance. Failure to reduce the barking andsubsequent breach of this notice can result in legal proceedings. The Environmental Health Department is always available to provide advice or guidance to either dog owners or anyone affected by dog barking noise.”