Please forgive my absence from blogging recently. It's been quite a busy time with my work, photography project and a recent trip away.
Image by Eric Verspoor
I was contacted by a resident who was suffering excess noise from one of his neighbours and he asked me to blog about the subject.
This can sometimes be quite a tricky subject to address, with some things to consider. For example, how well do you know your neighbours, is it a one-off or a regular occurrence, is it waking you up or stopping you from sleeping?
There are guidelines set in place by the Directors/Metro, and I believe the 'quiet' time in the park is set at around 10pm to 7am (though someone please correct me if I have got those times wrong), and in a memo I remember it stating that even consideration when putting bottles in the bottle banks should be considered especially early in the morning.
And generally the park is a pretty quiet place, I think you would agree, but we don't live in isolated mansions in the country side and noise inevitably will travel and become an issue from time to time.
So! How to deal with it?
- Speak to your neighbour. Sometimes this is easier said than done but they may not even be aware that noise from their flat is disturbing you. It's probably best not to do this when you are in a peak of rage at the noise. Wait until you are calm and you can be friendly. If you approach your neighbour with an open attitude it may help allay a potentially confrontational situation. Briefly explain the noise issue and how it is disturbing you, perhaps even asking if they can hear any noise from your flat. At this point hopefully your neighbour will take your request in a well intentioned way and the noise will decease, or perhaps you can both agree that the noise would be okay between certain times during the day (when you are out and it it won't disturb you). On the other hand, you may get a hostile reception. In this case walk away and don't add fuel to the fire. You have advised them of the noise and made a request, now leave it a few days and give your neighbour time to calm down and you may find that the noise will stop.
- If this has no effect, put something in writing to your neighbour and keep a copy for yourself. In the letter state what the noise pollution is exactly, and dates on which this has occurred, that the noise is disturbing you and that you request it stops or offer a compromise as to when the noise would be acceptable to you (if any). It is probably worth making a note of the times and dates of the disturbances too.
- If you still have no joy, then get in touch with Metro (of course, this could be your first course of action if you feel you cannot do the above). They can then get in touch with your neighbours and act as an intermediary. Hopefully this can resolve the matter.
- Still no luck. Perhaps it's time to make it more official. Birmingham City Council have ways of dealing with nuisance noise and you can read about it on their website. They will ask you to document evidence. They may come out and gather evidence themselves. They have the power to remove the source of the noise (ie, stereo) and can be fined up to £5,000. Hopefully you won't have to go down this route, but the option is there if you need to.
I hope this guide is useful to you. Please feel free to leave any comments below, and as always, if you would like to write an article for the Wake Green Park Blog, you may email it to me at email@example.com