Dogs, neighbours, TVs among top irritants but some complained about children and ice cream vans

Barking dogs, noisy neighbours, loud music, TVs and parties were the biggest generators of 427 noise complaints in Derry and Strabane, a new report has shown.

But believe it or not some people actually reported children playing and ice cream vans to the local council.

One curmudgeon gave off about children playing and there were two tirades about the bells of ice cream vendors.

Domestic sources of noise were the most irksome and prompted citizens to register 381 complaints with Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2019/20, according to the latest report by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

427 noise complaints in DC&SDC.

Animal noise was the most annoying form of noise pollution sparking 234 complaints in total.

This was followed by music, TV and parties which together led to 90 complaints.

Other neighbour noise was responsible for 42 complaints over the year.

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Industrial noise: Industry Manufacturing and Workshops (10), Agriculture (7), Individual Wind Turbine (1) and Wind Farm (0).

Commercial and Leisure: Entertainment Premises (13), Sports and Leisure (4), Petrol Stations/Car Wash (0), Hot Food Bars/Restaurants (3), Other Shops and Offices (0), Security Alarms (2) and Other (6).

Domestic: DIY (10), Music/Television/Parties (90), Animal Noise (234), House Alarms (5) and Other Neighbour Noise (42).

Construction: Construction Sites/Demolition Works/Road Works (16).

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Transport: Road Vehicles (2), Railways (0), Civil Aircraft (0), Military Aircraft (0), Delivery Vehicles (2), Vehicle Alarms (1) and Vehicle Horns/Revving Engines/Noisy Exhausts (5).

Noise in the Street: Loudspeakers (7), Road Works (0), Ice Cream Van Chimes (2), Street Traders (0), Street Performances/Public Address (5), Children Playing (1), Anti-social Behaviour (6) and Other (0). Only one complaint was issued in D&SDC under either the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 (CNEA) or the Noise Act 1996.

This equated to 0.21 notices per 100 complaints.

Compare that with Belfast where 543 notices were served: 8.72 per 100 complaints.

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The report further shows that in 2019/20 there were between 3 to 4 noise complaints per head of population in Derry and Strabane.

Of 11,356 noise complaints generated across the north over the year 4.1 per cent (474) were in Derry and Strabane.

The authors state: “This report analyses noise complaints received by all 11 councils between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. During this period 11,356 noise complaints were received in NI. This is a 9.6 per cent decrease in the total number of complaints received compared to the previous year. There has been a 6.5 per cent increase in the number of notices served this year (570 served this year and 535 served in 2018/19). There were four prosecutions for the 2019/20 year, compared to five prosecutions in 2018/19 and two in 2017/18.”