noisy neighbours report

During the pandemic, complaints about noisy neighbours in the UK reached 1,000 per day, the equivalent of 40 complaints per hour, according to research by Churchill Home Insurance in 2021. But how have noise complaints changed since?

Noisy neighbours can ruin even the most idyllic neighbourhoods, causing disruption and prompting people to sell up and move. We have analysed noise complaints data to reveal the neighbourhoods that most complain about noise disruptions. We have also compiled search volumes by county for queries about ‘how to report a noise complaint,’ revealing the locations most interested in reporting their neighbours to the local authorities. We were surprised by the results!

To beat the nuisance of noisy neighbours, you may want to look into ways you can minimise the noise in your living spaces. Many options exist, but corrugated roofing sheets are essential for domestic and commercial roofing project. They not only help to reduce the noise level but also provide invaluable waterproofing during construction and protect your home from weather and water damage. You could also choose polycarbonate roofing sheets, which can also block out noise in outdoor living spaces, such as pergolas, while offering fantastic UV protection.

If you suffer from poor noise insulation on older or single glazed windows another option to consider is installing secondary glazing. This is a low cost but effective solution to reduce sound pollution and increase insulation levels.

The UK Counties with the Noisiest Neighbours

English Counties with the noisiest neighbours

East Sussex is the county with the most noise complaints, with 7.7 complaints per 1,000 people

1. East Sussex: 

East Sussex: 7.7 noise complaints per 1,000 people
East Sussex is the UK county with the noisiest neighbours. The county has many popular tourist cities, including Brighton, Rye, and Hastings. The county recorded the highest rate of noise complaints, 7.7 per 1,000 people. Despite having a lower population than other counties in the top 10 (823,258 people), East Sussex suffers from many noise nuisances.

2. West Sussex and Warwickshire:

West Sussex and Warwickshire: 7.0 noise complaints per 1,000 people
West Sussex and Warwickshire placed second, recording the second-highest rate of complaints about noisy neighbours, with seven complaints for every 1,000 people. Warwickshire has one of the lowest populations (599,153 people in 2021) but still recorded the second-highest rate of complaints

3. West Midlands:

West Midlands: 6.8 noise complaints per 1,000 people
The West Midlands placed third, recording 6.8 noise complaints per 1,000 people. The county has a significantly larger population than others in the top three (2.9 million people) and is home to big cities like Birmingham and Coventry.

Do you live in one of these noisiest areas? If so, a growing trend is creating an outdoor quiet space by installing a covered living area with a pergola or lean to. Simply fit some roofing sheets on top and optionally to the sides to create your own peaceful space. Introduce some plants to give it a natural feel.

Even in cities and urban areas, where space is more limited, a quiet space can be created easily in the tiniest of outdoor spots. It can take all forms and be completed within any size of budget.

The UK Counties with the Quietest Neighbours

English Counties with the Quietest Neighbours

Wiltshire is home to the UK’s quietest neighbourhoods, with 1.1 noise complaints per 1,000 people

1. Wiltshire

1.1 noise complaints per 1,000 people
Wiltshire officially has the quietest neighbours in the UK. With a population of 747,124, the county recorded the least complaints about noisy neighbours — just 1.1 complaints for every 1,000 people.

2. Rutland

1.9 noise complaints per 1,000 people
Rutland, the ceremonial county in the East Midlands, scored second in the running for the counties with the quietest neighbours, with 1.9 complaints per 1,000 people. This is over 181% fewer complaints than seen in Greater London.

3. Northumberland

2.6 noise complaints per 1,000 people
Northumberland is a great choice if you’re looking for a peaceful county. It’s the third quietest county regarding noise complaints, with 2.6 complaints for every 1,000 people between 2020 and 2021.

UK Counties with the Highest Increase in Noise Complaints

English Counties with the Highest Increase of Noise Complaints
Table of English Counties with the Highest Increase of Noise Complaints

Buckinghamshire is fast becoming the noisiest county in the UK, recording an increase of 174% in noise complaints

1. Buckinghamshire
Increase in noise complaints (2018-2021): 174%
The county of Buckinghamshire has seen the highest increase in noise complaints, with complaints soaring by 174% between 2018 and 2021. By the end of 2019, the mean complaints ratio was 2.3 per 1,000, almost tripling to 6.3 complaints per 1,000 by the end of 2021.

2. Lincolnshire
Increase in noise complaints (2018-2021): 53%
Lincolnshire also scored high in this category, recording a slightly less unsettling increase of 53% in noise complaints. In 2019, the mean complaints ratio was four per 1,000 people, which grew to 6.1 complaints per 1,000 in 2021.

3. East Sussex
Increase in noise complaints (2018-2021): 48%
East Sussex placed third, recording an increase of 48% in noise complaints between 2018 and 2021. In 2019, the mean complaints ratio was 5.2 per 1,000 people, which increased to 7.7 complaints per 1,000 people by 2021.

UK Counties with a Decrease in Noise Complaints

English Counties with a Decrease of Noise Complaints
Table of English Counties with a Decrease of Noise Complaints

Worcestershire is the area with the biggest decrease in noisy neighbours, recording a 53% drop in complaints

1. Worcestershire
Decrease in noise complaints: 53%
Worcestershire has seen a significant decline in noise complaints, dropping by 53% between 2018 and 2021. By the end of 2019, the mean complaints ratio was 5.7 per 1,000, which dropped to 2.7 complaints per 1,000 by the end of 2021.

2. Wiltshire
Decrease in noise complaints: 35%
Wiltshire has also seen a drop in complaints about noisy neighbours, recording a 35% decrease in reports. In 2019, the mean number of complaints was 1.7 per 1,000 people, which dropped to 1.1 complaints per 1,000 people in 2021.

3. Rutland
Decrease in noise complaints: 32%
Rutland placed third, recording a 32% decrease in noise complaints between 2018 and 2021. In 2019, the mean complaints ratio was 2.8 per 1,000 people, which dropped to 1.9 complaints per 1,000 people by 2021.

UK Areas Searching about Noise Complaints the Most

English Counties Searching the Most about Noise Complaints

Rutland recorded the most searches about neighbourhood noise complaints, with 48.33 searches per 100,000 people

Table of English Counties Searching the Most about Noise Complaints

1. Isle of Wight
Average searches per 100,000: 41.67
The county of the Isle of Wight recorded the highest number of searches, with 41.67 search queries about neighbourhood noise per 100,000 people in the last 12 months. Isle of Wight noise complaints increased by 5% in 2021 compared to 2019. In 2019, the mean ratio was 3.9 complaints (per 1,000 people); by 2021, it increased to 4.1 complaints (per 1,000 people).

2. Herefordshire
Average searches per 100,000: 35.71
Herefordshire had the second-highest number of searches around noise complaints in the area, recording 35.71 searches per 100,000 people. There were 80 searches on average between May 2023 and April 2024. The rate of complaints about noise in Herefordshire recorded a mean ratio of 5.4 complaints per 1,000 people. There has also been a 15% increase in complaints since 2019.

3. Northumberland
Average searches per 100,000: 31.83
Northumberland placed third with 31.83 searches (per 100,000 people) across the county monthly. In the last 12 months, an average of 120 search inquiries about noise complaints have been made. In 2021, the mean ratio for noise complaints stood at 2.6 complaints per 1,000 people. There has also been an 8% increase in complaints since 2019.

London Boroughs with the Noisiest Neighbours

London boroughs with the noisiest neighbours

Kensington and Chelsea is home to the noisiest neighbours in London, with 731.3 complaints per 1,000 people


1. Kensington and Chelsea
731.3 noise complaints per 1,000 people
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea recorded the highest rate of noise complaints, with a strikingly high rate of 731.3 complaints per 1,000 people in 2021, more than 60 times the national average of 12.0 complaints per 1,000 people.

2. Westminster
86.8 noise complaints per 1,000 people
The city and borough of Westminster took second place, with 86.8 nose complaints per 1,000 people. One reason for this could be the high amount of tourism the area sees. The city is always very busy as it is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British government.

3. Islington
79.4 noise complaints per 1,000 people
The borough of Islington placed third, with 79.4 complaints per 1,000 people. Although this is nine times lower than Kensington and Chelsea, these regular noise complaints indicate a widespread problem for Islington residents.

London Boroughs with the Quietest Neighbours

London boroughs with the quietest neighbours

Havering has the quietest neighbours in London, with 4.0 complaints per 1,000 people

1. Havering
4.0 noise complaints per 1,000 people
The London Borough of Havering is home to the quietest neighbours in London. With a population of almost 260,000, Havering recorded the least complaints about noisy neighbours — just four complaints for every 1,000 people.

2. Bexley, Ealing, and Kingston upon Thames
5.7 noise complaints per 1,000 people
The London Boroughs of Bexley, Earling, and Kingston upon Thames share the second quietest neighbourhoods in London, with 5.7 complaints reported per 1,000 people in each borough in 2021. This is almost 197% fewer complaints than those made by people in Kensington and Chelsea.

3. Barnet
5.9 noise complaints per 1,000 people
Barnet is the third quietest borough in London, with 5.9 complaints for every 1,000 people. Despite its large population of almost 396,000, neighbourhood disruptions are kept low in Barnet.

London Boroughs with the Highest Increase in Noise Complaints

London boroughs with the highest increase in noise complaints

Kensington and Chelsea is fast becoming the noisiest borough in London, with an increase of 1,208% in noise complaints

London boroughs with the highest increase in noise complaints table

1. Kensington and Chelsea
Increase in noise complaints (2018-2021): 1,208%
Not only is Kensington and Chelsea the noisiest borough in London, the area has also seen the highest increase in noise complaints, with reports soaring by over 1,208% between 2018 and 2021. By the end of 2019, the rate of complaints was 55.9 per 1,000 people. This spiked to 731.3 complaints per 1,000 by the end of 2021.

2. Harrow
Increase in noise complaints (2018-2021): 233%
Harrow also scored high in this category, recording a significant increase of 233% in noise complaints. In 2019, the mean complaints ratio was just 2.7 per 1,000 people but grew to nine complaints per 1,000 in 2021.

3. Redbridge
Increase in noise complaints (2018-2021): 215%
Redbridge placed third, recording an increase of 215% in noise complaints between 2018 and 2021. In 2019, the complaints rate was 14.3 per 1,000 people, which increased to 45 complaints per 1,000 by 2021.

London Boroughs with a Decrease in Noise Complaints

London boroughs with a decrease in noise complaints

Lewisham is the London borough seeing the biggest decrease in noise complaints, with a 52% drop in reports

London boroughs with a decrease in noise complaints table

1. Lewisham
Decrease in noise complaints: 52%
Lewisham has seen a significant decline in noise complaints, dropping by 52% between 2018 and 2021. By the end of 2019, the complaints rate was 15.3 per 1,000 people, which dropped to 7.4 complaints per 1,000 by the end of 2021.

2. Waltham Forest
Decrease in noise complaints: 49%
Waltham Forest has also witnessed a drop in complaints about noisy neighbours, recording a 49% decrease in reports. In 2019, the rate of complaints was 25.4 per 1,000 people, which dropped to 13 complaints per 1,000 in 2021.

3. Kingston upon Thames
Decrease in noise complaints: 28%
Kingston upon Thames placed third, with a 28% decrease in complaints between 2018 and 2021. In 2019, the complaints ratio was 7.9 per 1,000 people, which dropped to 5.7 complaints per 1,000 by 2021.

Methodology

We took the top 48 English ceremonial counties by population in 2021 from Population Data. This data is accurate as of 15/05/24.

The London boroughs and population size in 2019 was taken from Wikipedia.

The number of noise complaints per 1,000 people was taken from LG Inform, using the mean value for years 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2020/21. Any areas without sufficient data were removed from the list.

Google Keyword Planner was used to calculate the number of annual searches using the search term "how to report noise complaint" in each county. This figure was compared to the total reach to collect the number of searches per 100,000 people. This data is correct as of 20/05/24.

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