Belfast named UK’s busiest city according to new complaints data

Belfast has been voted the noisiest city in the UK, according to noise complaint data obtained by real estate expert Insulation Express.

nsulation Express sent freedom of information requests to 49 UK councils, based on population, based on the number of noise complaints received over a five-year period, from 2017 to 2021.

Belfast, with a population of around 639,000, is the 15th largest city in the UK; however, it generated the most noise complaints.

From 2017 to 2021, Belfast City Council (BCC) received 31,305 noise complaints, 4,023 more than the next busiest city, Manchester, which had 27,282 complaints.

Aberdeen came in third with 22,349 complaints, followed by Southampton (22,150) and Swansea (20,906).

Including Swansea, Wales finished three in the top ten, along with Cardiff (15,867) and Newport (12,212).

Jenny Turner, property manager for Insulation Express, said it’s not surprising that councils in densely populated areas are receiving more noise complaints.

With home prices rising across the board and homeowners looking to move to save money, potential buyers need to consider every aspect of the various areas, including noise pollution.

“To reduce the impact of a noisy area, we recommend that homeowners and renters soundproof their homes by rearranging furniture, hanging heavy curtains over windows and doors, and even adding items such as bookcases along walls to create an additional barrier to reduce intrusion. external noise, as well as preventing noise from escaping from your home,” she advised.

“For a more permanent solution, adding soundproofing to certain rooms, such as living rooms and bedrooms, can be a great option to combat neighborhood and traffic noise.”

The news comes after the BCC Licensing Committee voted to renew the 14-day outdoor entertainment license for Boucher Road Playing Fields despite one official objection and complaints from nearby residents about noise from concerts taking place there.

The Boucher Road Playing Fields are council-owned and have been used for major concerts for the past decade. The decision to extend the license was made at a committee meeting last week, with one formal objection raised against the extension.

The report prepared for the committee members stated: “The nature of the objection relates to the unbearable noise caused by outdoor concerts at Boucher Road Playing Fields, which is detrimental to the applicant’s peaceful enjoyment of his property and his health.

“This objection was caused by inconvenience due to the noise caused by a number of concerts in September 2021. Following a noise complaint to the council on September 25, a Building Supervision Officer contacted the objector by phone. The objector explained that loud music bothers him during concerts at the Boucher Road playgrounds.

“In addition to the objection, both parties were invited to a meeting to discuss the issues and see if any action could be taken to allay the objector’s concerns. The director of the Department of City and Neighborhood Services agreed to attend, but the objector indicated that he did not wish to attend the meeting.

The BCC said its “night noise team” monitored sound levels at playgrounds and found them to be within acceptable limits.

“The Noise Board team did not report any violations of noise legislation regarding noise as a result of any major activities at the site,” the report states.

“Any event experience and recommendations for improvement will be passed on to future event organizers and mitigation measures will be built into event planning for future events.

“The license agreement between the council and the organizer of the event, prepared by the city attorney, includes a number of clauses designed to ensure the least inconvenience to residents and businesses operating in the area, as well as to ensure public safety.

“These include matters relating to interaction with residents and local businesses, event planning/organization, and traffic management.”