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Report on Progress of Environmental Services New Approach on Investigating Noise Complaints

17/04/2023 - Report on Progress of Environmental Services New Approach on Investigating Noise Complaints

Matter for Decision

The Council has a legal duty to investigate statutory nuisance within its area under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. However, the law does not specify how to exercise this duty, it was therefore the responsibility of each Local Authority to establish its own procedures for investigating complaints of noise that may amount to statutory nuisance.


At this committee on 27th January 2022, the Executive Councillor noted the results of the pro-active and planned Out of Hours Noise Service trial that was conducted between 1st October – 31st December 2021 and approved the adoption of this proactive and planned service approach on a permanent basis supported by use of evidence gathering technologies and equipment.


It was also agreed by the Executive Councillor that a further report on progress of Environmental Services new approach to investigating noise complaints would be brought to committee detailing further evaluation of the impact of the Council’s move from a reactive Out of Hours Noise Service to one which uses a combination of technology and planned use of officer time.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

Noted the update report on the Councils new approach on investigating noise complaints.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Team Manager - Residential, Environmental Services.


The Team Manager - Residential, Environmental Services said the following in response to Members’ questions:

      i.          No formal or informal complaints had been received about the new approach to investigating noise complaints.

     ii.          Officers provided support to complainants when they logged issues. Section 3.10 of the Officer’s report listed outcomes of noise complaints received.

   iii.          A customer satisfaction survey was launched on-line from 1 October 2022.

   iv.          The old system was a reactive approach to out of hours noise complaints. Now the City Council could be proactive on a case-by-case basis. Technology allowed the City Council to quickly intervene for repeated issues. Officers could plan what visits were required, and when, so they could witness issues as they occurred.

    v.          The number of officer visits had decreased as they could be targeted to where/when needed.

   vi.          The City Council could not investigate one-off issues, only repeated ones. Visiting on a reactive basis (old system) was not a good use of City Council resources as some issues were outside the Council’s remit. Resources could be better directed and callers directed to appropriate sources of help under the new system (if the City Council was unable to help).


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.