Ensuring the health impacts of noise are considered in national policy decisions
In England and Wales, the CIEH Noise Survey provides the only source of information on the vital contribution made by environmental health professionals working to resolve noise complaints. The new survey for 2020/21 is now live and the deadline is Tuesday 31 August.
2020/21 Noise Survey
2020 has been a year unlike any other, with large proportions of the public suddenly moving to working or studying from home. Therefore, we believe it is important that we highlight the vital work that environmental health professionals have been doing and how they have been striking a balance between safety and service of delivery.
We are aware that environmental health professionals are heavily involved in supporting efforts to tackle COVID-19 and we appreciate that many of you will be especially busy at this time. However, the information collected is used in official Government statistics and we have also heard that some local authorities have seen big increases in complaints about residential noise during the lockdown. We are keen to ensure that this information is captured, if at all possible.
This year's report is supported by Cirrus Research. Established in 1970, Cirrus Research is a globally recognised name in scientific noise measurement equipment, serving health and safety and environmental health professionals in all parts of the world.
Noise changes lives, and Cirrus Research's priority is to make monitoring, measuring, and controlling excessive noise levels as straightforward as possible, whilst ensuring that the most effective decisions are taken to protect people and the environment from the risks noise presents. Cirrus Research has a long-standing relationship with local government environmental health officers, housing associations and independent acoustic consultants, and actively contributes to the successful resolution of noise nuisance complaints by supporting EHOs with market-leading instrumentation that provides in-depth data and analysis.
Our latest report on the 2019/20 England noise survey is still accessible below, as well as the previous years' reports.
We are hoping to publish our 2019/20 Noise Survey for Wales in the upcoming weeks.
Why is it so important?
Our noise survey provides the only source of regular national information on the important contribution made by EHPs working to resolve noise complaints.
Our survey results were referenced in the 2017 Chief Medical Officer annual report to emphasise that "environmental noise comes second in burden of disease to air pollution and arguably is responsible for more disturbance of quality of life". Noise is the single largest issue of complaint made to local authorities in the UK and over 80% of people report being exposed to noise pollution in their homes.
We collected data from 117 local authorities in England.
- The total number of noise complaints received
- The total number of notices served
- Other formal actions taken by local authorities
- Staffing levels for noise-related work
- The number of prosecutions
- Breakdowns of noise complaints by sector
- Breakdowns of data by region
We collected data from 143 local authorities in England.
The report covers the same areas as the new 2019/20 report excluding other formal actions taken by Local Authorities.
In total 18,567 noise complaints were recorded, which works out as 59 complaints for every 10,000 members of population. Noise from residential premises accounts for the largest proportion of noise complaints, while industrial noise accounts for the lowest proportion of noise complaints compared to other sectors.
In Northern Ireland the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affair’s (DAERA) Air and Environmental Quality Unity (AEQ) conduct an annual report on complaints received by the district councils.