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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good evening,I would like some advise with regards ***** *****

Customer Question

Good evening,
I would like some advise with regards ***** ***** environmental protection act and noise pollution and hope you can help.
We have been experiencing continuous harassment and intimidation from a neighbour who has been aggressive since I put up a willow screen on a fence I am responsible for.
I have submitted a harassment complaint to the local authority who have been actively involved. The neighbour has been attempting to get a reaction from us and has recently attempted to harm our dog. He is of course denying this all to the neighbourhood partnership team dealing with our complaint.
Now he has submitted a noise complaint with regards ***** ***** music I play inside my cabin. I have always considered the neighbours as to how late I play music (mainly play acoustic) and monitor the sound levels. The cabin I play within is about 13 metres away from the house and further for neighbours. I tend to not play music any later than 10pm and have never had a complaint before from a neighbour about sound levels and have lived at the property since 2004. The question is what aspects of the law do I need to consider so I do not get into trouble with the council with regards ***** ***** noise complaint that the neighbour is now pursuing. It seems that he will not stop so I would like to know where I stand so I can take the necessary action to keep within the law as well as be able to play my music.
For more information, I received a letter from the council stating that they are commencing an investigation which may involve sound recording. My concern is that they will give a recording machine to my neighbour. The neighbour has been very intrusive (listening in to our private conversations, and taking opportunities to look into our private space) which is why I put the willow screen up in the first place. So I do not now wish to be recorded by him. Can the council enforce such a procedure?
I look forward to your answer.
With regards
Paul *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Yes, they can. This is a very common response.
He will have made a complaint, they will have asked him to submit a noise diary for 28 days. That deters most people because usually people can't be bothered. He is probably completely obsessed so has not been deterred.
The council do provide noise recording equipment to the complainant essentially to gather evidence to confirm or refute the report. Obviously some reports are malicious.
The reality is that there is nothing you can do to prevent him using the recording equipment and it is only an item that he can easily buy himself anyway.
If there is no noise nuisance then it is not likely to lead to an abatement notice.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi JoThank you for your advice. Is there any advice/guidance on what is considered to be reasonable noise level and times etc? As you know I play the music within a cabin. I need to establish whether its a case that I cannot play music after certain hours or whether he can complain about noise during regular day hours etc. I think he would have mainly complained about the time when he puts his kids to bed around 7:40pm.Kind regards
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
For the purposes of a musical instrument reasonable hours are usually considered Monday to Thursday: before 7 am and after 10 pm.Friday: before 7 am and after 11 pm.Saturday and public holidays: before 9 am and after 11 pm.Sunday: before 9 am and after 10 pm.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi JoThank you for your last response.Can you advise if there is anything I can do to protect myself? For example do you think it would be a good idea for me to keep a log of times and record of volume in decimals from house distance? I am worried that the report could be malicious and wish to know what precautionary measure I should take.Also can you please provide more information as to how the notice is served by the council? For example is there a perimeter for frequency of events recorded that triggers the procedures? Are court proceedings involved before or after they are issued?I would be grateful for your further assistance to further clarify the question.Kind regards
Paul Grout
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, even if it malicious surely they won't be able to find anything ?
I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi JoI would like some further clarification.If I play live music (within the cabin) during the reasonable hours you mentioned (on a previous reply) are you saying that I will I not get into difficulties with the council? The reason why I am concerned is because I am worried that the neighbour will complain to the council regardless of the times.Also is there any law guidance you can provide in connection to noise volumes for live music within residential areas?I am trying to establish where I stand with regards ***** ***** being able to play music in the cabin and at the same time avoid difficulties.Kind regards
Paul Grout