London’s getting noisier – according to FOI data obtained by the BBC. A grand total of 119,826 complaints about noise (PDF) – covering late night parties, fireworks, church bells and DIY (hands up anyone whose neighbours have decided to do a spot of drilling first thing on a Sunday morning?) – were made last year.
Southwark has just overtaken Westminster as the noisiest borough, recording 13,326 complaints in 2010. This compares to a mere 614 in the City of London; but if we’re looking at boroughs where a reasonable number of people live, the most peaceful place appears to be Merton (1,243). Though when Bexley gets round to adding up its latest figures we could have a battle of the south London boroughs on our hands.
Oddly enough, Kensington and Chelsea – despite sitting mid-table for noise complaints – handed out just four noise abatement notices in 2010. Are the genteel citizens of that royal borough more likely to turn the music down when asked or are RBKC less paperwork-happy?
What these numbers don’t answer is whether London genuinely is getting noisier or whether we’re getting less tolerant. Opinions, anecdotes, in the comments if you would.