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Amendment to the noise pollution laws. – pre-existing noise

Comment 9th July 2010

When dealing with noise complaints, No abatements orders should be issued if it can be proved that the noise in question was already present and ongoing for more than two  years before the complainant moved into their property, or if the complainant could have easily known or found out about the noise in advance of the purchase.

This will stop the vastly unfair situation of someone having to stop an activity, business or hobby they may have been doing for years just because someone new moves in next door and dislikes what the existing neighbours are doing. 

Why does this matter?

In recent years there have been cases of playgroups, farmers, hobbyist, gardeners, kennels and light industrial businesses all having to stop or change the way they have lived and worked for years because of new neighbours who rather than accept that they knowingly bought a house next door (possibly at a reduced rate) prompty rush to get an abatement order served on the existing premises.

I am sure we have all heard of the townies who move into the countryside and then go all out to stop the local cockerels crowing.   Well there are also cases where playgroups have had to close because of new neighbours who object to children making a noise.  

And of course the people who move in next door to a pub and then think  the pub should now be restricted in its activities because they have decided to move nearby.

Also there are cases of people who move in next to a motor racing circuit and try to get the days it runs limited, or move next to a private airfield and then object because the planes are noisy.

It is time common sense prevailed, and if it was obvious the noise would be there when the person bought the house they should not be permitted to have a noise abatement order served on the pre-existing activity.

Exceptions could of course be made if the noise got worse, or more frequent. 

By setting  a two year period it would mean that if the noise had been regarded as a nuisance during the first two years of its occurrence, existing neighbours would already have been able to complain about it and get it stopped.

An amendment to the noise abatement act would be easy and would remove this very unfair situation that penalises existing residents or businesses.

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