Council get 1250 noise complaints

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2014

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Buskers, bad singing and barking dogs all irritated Wellingtonians' eardrums in 2013 - but one street's "nightmare" neighbour drew an especially high volume of noise complaints.

Just 10 Wellington streets drew 1250 noise complaints between them in the year to December. The majority of them were Wellington's inner-city entertainment hot spots, including Cuba St and Courtenay Place.

However, one Upper Hutt house particularly riled residents.

Noise coming from the property sparked 39 complaints against the tenants in the past year, figures released by the Upper Hutt City Council under the Official Information Act show.

The bulk of the complaints came from one woman who did not wish to be identified.

The complaints were mostly related to noisy people and music and resulted in seven "noise direction" notices to warn the residents to quieten down.

Twice, equipment was seized, and twice letters were written to the tenants' landlord, council records show.

The woman estimated she had made 160 complaints about the house in the past two years.

"It's absolute hell," she said. "Living next to them you're worried about your house, your family, your animals. You don't like to go away on holiday. That house has been a nightmare."

She and another neighbour told The Dominion Post the house hosted loud, boozy parties into the wee hours, night after night.

"They don't stop - there's drinking and there's driving, there's drugs. They are like Energizer bunnies. For the past two years I have had zip sleep."

In Wellington city, loud music, "people noise", including singing and shouting, vehicle or machinery noise, and busking and alarms, drew the most complaints.

Cuba St was the subject of 254 complaints, followed by The Terrace, with 145.

Courtenay Place, Vivian St, and Lambton Quay all drew noise complaints. Newtown residential areas Hanson St and Adelaide Rd also made the top 10 noisiest list with 104 and 131 complaints apiece between the first day of 2013 and 27 November.

Under the Wellington City Council's noise control bylaws, if excessive noise isn't reduced immediately the source of the racket can be seized.

Those responsible for the noise may also face a fine of up to $10,000 if they fail to comply with the council's order to be quieter.

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- The Dominion Post

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