Revealed: The noisiest streets in Barking and Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 16:44 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 11 July 2019
More than 4,500 noise complaints have been made across Barking and Dagenham since the start of 2018 - with a tiny cul-de-sac responsible for the most persistent rackets in the borough.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 4,687 people have reported noisy neighbours to Barking & Dagenham Council in 18 months.
The majority of complaints were to do with loud or excessive music, or 'people noise' such as loud footsteps, talking and shouting: a total of 2,996.
But other irate residents have called the council's four-strong noise team about a raft of other reported dins, from people carrying out DIY - which led to 510 complaints - to 85 incidences of TVs and radios being on too loudly.
Some 208 people were taken to task specifically for party noise: the same offence that led to one Dagenham man , Colin Platt, being fined nearly £2,000 in April after neighbours complained about his 50th birthday shindig.
The team were also contacted 258 times about barking dogs, and 88 times about other animals and birds causing a racket.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: "The safety and security of our residents is of paramount importance to us. People should be able to live in peace and not have their lives made a misery by the actions of a minority of neighbours.
"In relation to noise nuisance and other anti-social behaviour, we will always encourage residents to try and resolve it in the first instance and if that is not possible then by all means contact the council."
The noisiest road in the borough, where 124 complaints have been received in 18 months, is a short residential cul-de-sac in Dagenham called Pinley Gardens.
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Almost all of the complaints about Pinley Gardens were to do with music, and there was one instance of "shouting and screaming", but it is not clear whether any of the reports were serious enough to warrant enforcement action.
The next loudest roads were the less surprising Dagenham Heathway, with 74 complaints, and Abbey Road in Barking, with 64.
Other streets repeatedly accused of causing a commotion include Ibscott Close in Dagenham with 60 complaints, Charlton Crescent in Barking with 50 and Becontree Avenue in Dagenham with 41.
In response to the complaints the council has sent out 1,925 letters since the start of 2018, including DIY fact sheets.
Officers have set up noise monitoring equipment around nine properties and 206 of the complaints saw the noise logged as a statutory nuisance, meaning the owner could either receive and comply with an abatement notice or face a fine of up to £5,000.
The council has prosecuted on five noise cases and the maximum fine on a case was £1000 with £750 in costs: the amount levied on Mr Platt, who told the Post he is still appealing it.
He said: "I'm baffled it has got to this stage. It's not like it was a major, raving party; we were in the garden, talking loudly because people hadn't seen each other for 20 or 30 years. It's absolutely amazing."
But more than a thousand complaints could not be acted upon, either due to there being no noise when officers visited, or because the original caller did not respond.
Cllr Mullane said: "Our noise team work around the clock throughout the year but unfortunately last year over 30 per cent of complaints could not be actioned because the people who made the call were either not responding or could not be reached.
"You will understand that this is a waste of officer time and taxpayer's money so we would ask residents to keep that in mind and only contact the service if they want us to be able to take action."