Noise Complaints Up Across London

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 78 months ago
Noise Complaints Up Across London

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.

Photo by madcowk from the Londonist Flickr pool. Not quite a brass band, but one of our neighbours had a steel band playing for three hours in their back garden the other week. It was nice at first...

Last Updated 22 August 2011


Those riots were pretty noisy like...

Oli C

The interesting thing is, the Government is trying to make it easier for people to play live music in licensed venues (e.g. pubs). Will this lead to more noise complaints? Will these latest figures lead to renewed calls to keep the licensing system the same? I bloody well hope not. 


Thankfully my parents live in a peaceful borough. I reckon it's partly to do with the cost of going out, and people therefore are having more house parties. Add a mixture of a quality sound system and lots of alcohol and you've got a mixture for a noisy Friday or Saturday night...