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Category: Dog Training Courses | Author: admin 29.03.2014
Guidance on Noise NuisanceDEVELOPEMENT OF A MANAGEMENT GUIDEThis guidance document offers advice in relation to dealing with noise complaints of a domestic origin and possible options for action by the authorities involved. West Lothian residents who are upset by noise caused by continual barking of a neighbour's dog(s), either inside or outside their homes, have the right to take action in an attempt to resolve the problem. In order to judge whether barking is causing a problem we must take into account what is unacceptable to the average person. It is also worth noting that exaggeration of the frequency or duration of barking will undermine the credibility of your case at a later date.It is also important that reporting a barking dog problem is not the result of hostility between two neighbours, a neighbourhood dispute or dislike of a neighbour. In almost every local authority the two main sources of noise complaints of a domestic origin were given as music noise and barking dogs.
Similarly, a study of the role of mediation in tackling neighbour disputes ((Brown, Barclay, Simmons and Eley) revealed that dogs were amongst the most common presenting issues.The tele survey revealed that the main issue with the legal remedy is once again the time taken from complaint to resolution.

Section 49(2) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 allows a person who has reasonable cause for annoyance, as a result of a barking dog, to make an application to the District court for an Order to be made requiring the owner of the creature to take action to prevent the annoyance from continuing. If no evidence of barking is gathered during witnessing visits, a statutory nuisance cannot be evidenced and therefore the case will be closed.Formal ActionPlease note officers are having to focus on higher priority demands and cannot provide a full response to investigate concerns of this nature at this time.
The use of ASBA Part 5 provisions could potentially allow a rapid resolution to the problem of barking dogs. The noise from a continually barking dog is capable of being measured using the noise control provisions contained within ASBA Part 5. The issue of sound insulation and nuisance has received a great deal of attention in recent years and there is the notion amongst some EHOs that nuisance provisions do not apply to cases of poor sound isolation.
The problem was their tenancy properties had no sound insulation, resulting in them being able to hear 'not only the neighbours' televisions and their babies crying but their coming and going, their cooking and cleaning, their quarrels and their love-making'.How then does this decision affect remedies for noise nuisance under the EPA where.

The investigation officer should give consideration to the wider circumstances, and possibly offer mediation as a resolution of complaints between neighbours.MediationIn a recent Scottish Executive funded research project (Brown, Barclay, Simmons and Eley) which investigated the role of mediation in tackling neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour found that in most of the cited case studies, "the main presenting issue was noise, either noise of domestic appliances, children, dogs, and other 'normal' living, or noise of parties and loud music". There is no requirement to measure the noise at this stage.Where a local authority officer decides, by judgement or by taking a measurement, that the noise being emitted from the relevant property, during a noise control period, does not exceed the permitted level, for that period, or where it is decided that the noise cannot be measured, or where it is considered that the provisions of the ASBA are inappropriate, the officer may nevertheless be satisfied that the noise is a statutory nuisance under the provisions of the EPA. Normally only one measurement will be required, but should that measurement be corrupted it may be necessary to undertake further measurements.If the investigating officer is satisfied that a statutory nuisance is being caused, as well as the permitted noise level being exceeded, then the mandatory duty to serve an abatement notice also applies. However, should the permitted noise level, for the relevant noise control period, continue to be exceeded, or a statutory nuisance continue after service of both a warning notice and an abatement notice, the local authority has discretion, whether to follow the remainder of the ASBA provisions or the EPA enforcement processes.

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