More residents in South Tyneside have problems with noise that almost anywhere else in the North East, according to new research.
The borough is the second noisiest place to live in the region - with an average of three noise complaints a day - the main problems annoying neighbours, barking dogs and loud pubs.
The figures show that there was 1,027 complaints made in the borough last year – which works out as 6.9 per 1,000 of the borough’s population.
South Tyneside Council bosses say the majority of complaints are resolved “informally and amicably”,
A council spokesperson said: “Noisy neighbours are the most common cause of complaints and, whilst we recognise that people, within reason, have a right to live the way they like, our neighbours also have a right to live in a peaceful environment.
“We would encourage people, whether they are householders or business owners, to be considerate and bear in mind the effect their excessive noise could be having on others.
Noisy neighbours are the most common form of complaintsSouth Tyneside Council spokesman
“Most people in South Tyneside are considerate neighbours, but we will take action against anyone who, after warnings, continues to cause a noise nuisance.
“The majority of complaints are resolved informally and amicably, and we offer a range of advice and support aimed at achieving this.
“However, in cases where those causing the noise refuse to cooperate, we will take enforcement action.”
Compiled by noise monitoring experts, Cirrus Research through a Freedom of Information project, the statistics put Middlesbrough as top of the noisy neighbour poll, with 7.3 complaints per 1,000.
Gateshead was the quietest area with just 379 people complaining about disturbances.
Darlington came in third with 713 complaints within a population of 105400 or 6.7 complaints per 1,000.
The data is now being used by the Cirrus Research team which is starting to build up a national noise nuisance map of the UK
.Marketing manager, James Tingay said: “ We work with many local authorities and housing associations which have to deal with the complaints daily about noise nuisance. They have a duty to investigate each allegation, see if there is any substance, gather evidence and then take action. What one person thinks is acceptable could drive someone else crazy so noise enforcement teams have a difficult job at the best of times.
“We conducted our research based on complaints per 1,000 population to get a more accurate picture so whilst on paper Northumberland received more complaints than South Tyneside, it has a much larger population so that has to be taken into account to get a true picture.”
Loud noises can have a detrimental effect on a person’s health.
Elevated noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, and sleep disturbance.
Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been also attributed to noise exposure.
Loud levels can create stress, increase workplace accident rates, and stimulate aggression and other anti-social behaviors.
The most significant causes are vehicle and aircraft noise, prolonged exposure to loud music, and industrial noise.