List reveals where noisiest neighbours in Plymouth live
MUTLEY and Greenbank have the city's noisiest neighbours, new figures reveal.
And the quietest areas of Plymouth were Glenholt, Colebrook and Newnham.
The city council's noise police, the Public Protection Service, received about 90 complaints from people in Mutley and Greenbank in the 10 months to last Friday, according to figures released this week. Stonehouse with 55, and the city centre on 43 were close behind.
In the last full financial year, 2011/12, the council had 1,738 complaints about noise, members of the customers and communities scrutiny panel heard.
Most were chronic or persistent cases, and not usually one-off events, which are dealt with differently.
Complaints about noise from domestic premises (843) were the most common, including loud music or slamming doors.
Other common sources of noise include commercial and leisure premises, industrial sources, dogs and others such as construction noise.
By far the majority of complaints (70 per cent) were made by phone and email (22 per cent).
In line with Labour's manifesto pledge before the last elections, the council is looking to improve the way it deals with noisy neighbours and antisocial behaviour, especially in the evenings and weekends.
An assessment of the Public Protection Service has concluded that extending the out-of-hours service was not justifiable because other improvements had already been made.
The out-of-hours service has only handled 71 calls in the past 12 months.
Cabinet member Cllr Chris Penberthy told the scrutiny panel this week: "We don't have the answers yet, but you can see the kind of questions we're asking."
He said an initial thought was that there might be a difference in how much people across the city tolerated noise.
People in high density areas might be more tolerant than those in the leafy suburbs.
Some of the problems are in areas of older housing which may not have as much sound insulation.
Current laws on noise insulation only came into force in the 1980s.
New directives on converting houses into flats mean the council will be able to put in conditions about noise.
Cllr Glenn Jordan (Con, Plympton, Chaddlewood) said three of the five worst were student areas.
"We should also be trying to work with the university. In other cities universities will withhold degrees from people who have been the subject of constant complaints."
Cllr Penberthy said: "We still need to do some work on noise from licensed premises.
"We are talking to the university Students' Union and the Dean of Students. We're talking to private landlords and taking serious enforcement action. We are talking about 1,700 cases a year. This is a substantial number of cases with an 89 per cent positive result.
"People who use our service are very satisfied."
Cllr Penberthy said that complaints from North Prospect were quite low. The area is being extensively redeveloped, and the regeneration will see more densely built housing.
"We want to watch how that develops," Cllr Penberthy said.
Cllr Philippa Davey (Lab, Stoke), a panel member, said she knew that many of the complaints in Stoke and Ford related to just two homes.
LIST OF DOMESTIC COMPLAINTS APRIL 1, 2012 TO FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Mutley and Greenbank 90
City Centre 43
Mount Gould 32
East End, Cattedown 19
St Budeaux 19
Barne Barton 18
Morice Town 16
Kings Tamerton and Weston Mill 13
Lipson and Laira 9
Turnchapel Hooe & Oreston 8
Beacon Park & Pennycross 7
Elburton & Dunstone 7
Leigham & Mainstone 7
Hartley & Mannamead 6
North Prospect 5
Plympton St Maurice 5
Higher Compton 3
Tamerton Foliot 2
Colebrook & Newnham 1