Noise Action Week 2014 – a resounding success
Unhealthy and anti social noise was the focus of this years’ Noise Action Week in May. This provided an opportunity for all involved in tackling noise problems to draw attention to the issues. Over 50 organisations across the UK participated in the week – including local authority noise teams, housing providers, mediation services and policing teams.
Activities included local authorities and police teaming up across Leicestershire to promote a county wide message of respect and tolerance. In Elmbridge, the local authority worked with partners to tour the area giving advice and promote a new noise app for smartphones. Housing providers – including Sovereign in the South West and Moseley Housing Association in the West Midlands – used the week to encourage tenants to be good neighbours. Events are listed on the NAW website – http://www.noiseactionweek.org.uk/events.
Our regular guest blog from noise specialists and commentators allowed us to reach a far larger audience this year. Blogs were used to highlight and comment on noise issues arising in the course of the campaign and to draw attention to noise problems and solutions. Top five posts are:
- David Hendy on Ethics, Equity and the need for noise regulation
- Gwyn Mapp on BS4142
- Gareth Hooper on the environmental health officer role in noise reduction
- Mary Stevens – Noise and Public Health, why we need more action
- Micheal Eade – Planning, Nuisance and the balance of interests
NAW also enjoyed celebrity support – troubled by neighbourhood construction noise, musician Brain May tweeted support for the week. Local participants received press and radio coverage, and we gave interviews to local radio and TV.
EPUK plan to use the success of NAW 2014 to build on existing support; fix a date for NAW 2015 and secure funding to continue supporting the work of local agencies in reducing the impact noise has on public health in communities.
Managing unhealthy noise in neighbourhoods
Noise in the wrong place at the wrong time affects the quality of life in our neighbourhoods – and can harm our health.
Research published in 2013 into housing and well-being by Hact found that a home free from noise disturbance is valued higher than one with more space. http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2013/dec/10/housing-problems-happiness-space-noise-research
Noise is a common cause of neighbour disputes which are costly in terms of our health and well-being. Local authority noise teams and housing providers receive numerous noise complaints.
Many noise problems can be prevented by better communication and awareness of neighbours. For more persistent problems there are services and practical remedies that can help.
Every year Noise Action Week provides a focus for raising awareness of noise problems in neighbourhoods, the effect of noise on health and well being and helping everyone to manage unhealthy noise.
The week is an opportunity for local authority noise teams, housing providers, mediation services, neighbourhood police teams, businesses and communities concerned with noise to make themselves heard:
- by raising awareness of the impact noise has on neighbours
- by raising awareness of the impact excessive noise has on health and well being
- promoting simple practical ways to prevent noise annoying neighbours and harming out health
- promoting the services available to tackle noise
For Noise Action Week 2013 we are encouraging everyone to consider how they can avoid causing noise disturbance and reduce the impact noise has on their own and others’ health.
You can find more information on reducing noise around your home here: http://www.noiseactionweek.org.uk/about/reducing-noise-in-the-home
To join the Noise Action Week mailing list contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch to find out more. Support Noise Action Week by raising awareness of noise issues in your area. We also welcome contributions to help us fund co-ordination of the week and our awareness raising work.