People living next door to noisy neighbours will be hoping that Christmas brings many Silent Nights as Brighton and Hove’s out of hours noise service is to be suspended over winter with a view to only running it when demand is at its highest.
The service was reduced from two nights to just Saturday nights in April after budget cuts meant the city council’s noise enforcement team was reduced from three to two officers.
Now, as the council works out how to further cut costs, the service is to be stopped next month and reviewed for next year. Meanwhile, residents are to be given digital noise recorders to build up evidence for noise abatement notices.
A council spokesperson said: “It is proposed to suspend the service from the beginning of December 2015 when demand is generally lower, and again review the service for 2016/2017 and target resources for providing a service during periods of high demand and risk.
“Unfortunately, due to the often unpredictable nature of noise problems it is not always possible to accurately define periods of high demand. However, local experience, historic data and information, and shared intelligence will help us to define this.
“We currently receive 2,700 noise complaints a year, and have a statutory duty to investigate them all. Where a statutory noise nuisance is identified there is a further statutory duty to serve a noise abatement notice and breach of such a notice is a criminal offence.
“Although the majority of work will be done during normal office hours Monday to Friday we have invested in some additional digital noise recorders that can be left in resident’s homes and these recordings can used as part of the evidence to serve noise abatement notices.”
The environmental protection team can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 294266.
We will continue to keep service demand and response under review. This will include consideration to opportunities to reassign base budget, and/or identification of potential funding streams to invest in the service.
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