A total of 158 Dungannon District households are struggling to cope with noisy neighbours whose anti-social behaviour can range from violent arguments to playing annoying music at full volume.
The misery caused by nuisances such as aggressively barking dogs, late-night parties and persistent house alarms prompted the complaints to the district’s Environmental Health officers last year.
Although the total represents a slight decrease from last year’s figure of 169 complaints, it is still much than in 2004, when there was only 100 such complaints.
Dungannon people may be known as animal lovers, but spare a thought for the neighbours, as the figures reveal that the vast majority of the noise complaints, 89, were to do with animals.
Worryingly. although most of the complaints were domestic related, there has been an increase in the number of complaints caused by industry and manufacturing, with 22 incidents reported.
However, despite the increases, there was not a single prosecution made by the council.
Across Northern Ireland, councils dealt with just over 12,000 complaints.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has urged local councils to make full use of their powers. He said: “This is the first year when the night-noise powers contained within the Noise Act 1996 apply to all district councils across Northern Ireland.
Given that domestic noise is the largest cause of noise complaints and loud music, television and parties are the major culprit within this category, I urge all councils to make full use of these powers to help them address and reduce noise and improve the quality of life of affected citizens.”