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One of London’s richest boroughs has been labelled the noisiest place in Britain


By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter

One of London’s richest boroughs has been labelled the noisiest place in Britain.

Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) received the greatest number of neighbour noise complaints per person, according to research by Churchill Home Insurance.

There were 99 noise complaints for every 1,000 residents in RBKC, more than anywhere else, Freedom of Information requests reveal.

The council has received 9,963 complaints so far in 2021 and received 15,186 complaints in 2020 – further Freedom of Information requests sent by the Local Democracy Reporting Service reveal.

Golborne ward has received the most noise complaints so far in 2021, with 410 complaints being submitted as a result of loud music, nearly twice as many complaints about music than any other ward in the borough.

Building site noise has also generated a large number of complaints.

Brompton and Hans Town ward has already received 114 noise complaints due to building site noise this year.

There were 20 complaints about noisy animals or birds in the borough with a further 144 complaints about dogs barking so far this year.

Other complaints have come from footsteps, talking, fireworks, and noise from pedicabs.

Complaints about noisy neighbours rose nationally by more than a quarter during the coronavirus pandemic when multiple lockdowns forced people to follow stay-at-home orders.

Around 1,000 noise complaints a day were received by councils across the UK between 2020 and 2021.

Between April 2020 and March this year, 368,924 noise complaints were made – a 28 per cent rise from the previous year, with 86 per cent of the councils reporting increases.

Steven Williams, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: “The pandemic has seen us confined to our homes which means we’ve probably all become very aware of noises around us.

“As we go into more of a new normal, many of us will carry on working from home, at least part of the time, so noisy neighbours will continue to be really disruptive.

“It may be the case that neighbours don’t realise they are being noisy so the first step should always be speaking to them and explaining the problem.”

A Kensington and Chelsea spokesperson said: “We are one of only a few councils to have an out of hours noise and nuisance team.

“This results in more calls to action for our officers, who are available at almost any time of the day to respond to incidents and keep our neighbourhoods peaceful.

“We are a busy central London borough and some noise is inevitable, but we have strict local restrictions on construction at weekends and evenings and we have also introduced acoustic cameras to catch inconsiderate drivers who cause excessive noise by revving engines on our roads.”

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